SOCHI, May 15 (Itar-Tass) - The Kremlin has expressed regret over the news about a new spy scandal with the arrest in Moscow of a CIA operative who, working under the guise of a diplomat, tried to recruit an officer of a Russian secret service, RF president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Itar-Tass.
“This does not contribute to the further process of building mutual trust between Russia and the United States and bringing our relations to a qualitatively new level,” he believes.
According to recent reports, US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, summoned to the RF Foreign Ministry for handing a protest note by the Russian side, has arrived in the Russian Foreign Ministry. The diplomat so far has withheld comment.
On the night to May 14, counter-intelligence agencies of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) detained during an attempt to recruit an officer of a Russian security service staff member of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Ryan Christopher Fogle who worked undercover on the post of third secretary of the political department of the US Embassy in Moscow. The letter with instructions confiscated from the detained CIA agent offered up to 1 million US dollars per year for information. The detainee was taken to the FSB reception office and after the necessary formal procedures was handed over to the US Embassy officials. Russia declared the detained CIS agent “persona non grata” and demanded his quick departure home.
At the same time, the US Department of State does not tend to draw far-reaching conclusions concerning the detention of a staff member of the American Embassy in Moscow. US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell, answering the question whether the spy scandal could damage the RF-US bilateral relations, which have recently started to improve, told reporters in Washington that he would rather not make far-reaching conclusions from a single incident. “I’m not sure I would read too much into one incident one way or another,” Ventrell said. He confirmed that an embassy officer had been briefly detained, but declined further comment.