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Russian consulate workers in the US visit Yevgeny Buryakov

January 29, 2015, 1:34 UTC+3 NEW YORK

Russian citizen accused of spying

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NEW YORK, January 29. /TASS/. Officers of the Russian Consulate General in New York on Wednesday visited Russian citizen Yevgeny Buryakov, detained by the U.S. authorities on charges of espionage and being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, a spokesman for the Russian Consulate General said.

"Yevgeny is being held alone in a double jail cell," the spokesman said, adding that Buryakov’s detention conditions were "satisfactory".

Buryakov, an employee of Russia’s state-owned bank, Vnesheconombank, was arrested on Monday and charged with gathering "economic intelligence" along with two other Russian men who had already left the United States.

Buryakov "vehemently denies the alleged offences and hopes that the lawyers, being currently selected by Vnesheconombank, will rebut unfounded and false accusations against him," the spokesman said.

According to a criminal complaint unveiled on Monday, Yevgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy were trying to recruit New York City residents as intelligence sources and gather "economic intelligence" on behalf of Russia, including alleged information about U.S. sanctions against the country’s banking and financial sector. The three men were also accused of working on behalf of Russia's foreign intelligence service, known as the SVR.

Russia's foreign ministry on Tuesday dismissed the claims and said the United States had not provided any evidence to support the allegations.

"One gets an impression the U.S. authorities have decided to resort to their favourite tactic of unfolding spy scandals," the spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said in a statement, demanding the release of Buryakov.

"Due to Washington’s hostile stance Russian-U.S. relations have long experienced no easy times. Apparently, the United States follows ‘the worse - the better’ principle in an attempt to start another spiral of an anti-Russian campaign," Lukashevich said. "The effects of such actions, aggravating the atmosphere of bilateral relations and undermining the prospects of our cooperation, will remain a matter of conscience of their masterminds."

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