MOSCOW, September 3. /TASS/. The United States in recent years sometimes used crude intelligence methods trying to recruit Russian citizens in the capacity of their informers, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Monday.
"In recent years the United States has been using crude intelligence methods in its attempts to recruit Russian citizens by putting pressure on them," Peskov said in the wake of an article in The New York Times claiming that US secret services had tried to persuade Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska to become their informer and in this way to obtain confirmation of alleged Russian intervention in US elections.
Peskov said such media reports "give much food for thought, but at the same time they are an obvious illustration of the United States’ recent practices."
"Bearing in mind the fact that such businessmen as Oleg Deripaska are major shareholders and heads of large business structures and industrial processes involving tens of thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of people, including those employed in rather sensitive branches of the Russian economy, such incidents clearly testify to attempts at intervention in Russia’s internal affairs," Peskov said.
He skipped the question if US secret services had used similar attempts towards other major Russian businessmen, adding that such questions should be addressed "to our major businessmen."
Earlier, The New York Times said US secret services had tried but failed to persuade Deripaska to become their informer. The daily says the FBI and the US Department of Justice made attempts to recruit Deripaska in 2014-2016. According to the newspaper, the United States promised in exchange to settle his problems with obtaining a US entry visa.
The New York Times says that at first the United States tried to obtain from Deripaska some proof of alleged connections between Russian organized crime and the Russian leadership. According to the newspaper, Deripaska told US officials that such speculations were wrong. Also, he refused to meet them again. Also, Deripaska notified the Russian authorities of these recruitment attempts.