Two officials arrested in Italy for spying

An Italian navy captain and a Russian diplomat have been arrested in Rome on suspicion of espionage, according to Italian police, after they were allegedly caught swapping a document for money at a secret meeting on Tuesday night.

NATO documents were among the files the navy captain passed to the Russian official, local media said.

A police source identified the captain as Walter Biot and said he accepted 5,000 euros in return for the information.

A ministry source says Biot was working at the defense ministry department developing national security policy and managing part of Italy's relations with its allies.

The Russian is a military official accredited at the embassy.

Reuters correspondent Gavin Jones says the incident has the makings of a spy story.

"What we do know is that an Italian navy official and a Russian army official have both been arrested for exchanging documents relating to Italian security, we don't actually know where this exchange of documents took place. The Italian foreign ministry has summoned the Russian ambassador, so it is obviously going to raise tensions between Italy and Russia."

Police say the arrests followed a long investigation carried out by Italian intelligence, with the support of the military.