MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – The CIA has long been working hard to infiltrate Russian security and intelligence services, a man identified as a Federal Security Service (FSB) officer told Russia’s Channel 1 TV on Wednesday, the day after the FSB said a CIA agent had been detained in Moscow while trying to recruit a Russian security services agent.
“Over the past two years we have been observing persistent attempts by the CIA to recruit employees of Russian law enforcement and security agencies,” the man said, with his face concealed and his voice altered to protect his identity, adding that in January a CIA officer had been expelled from Russia.
“We asked our American colleagues to discontinue such disturbing practices with regard to Russian citizens. However, our requests were ignored.”
His remarks were broadcast the same day that Russia lodged an official protest with the US ambassador over Ryan Christopher Fogle, an embassy officer who Russia says is an undercover CIA operative.
In the interview shown on the state-owned Channel 1, the FSB officer said that Russian counterintelligence was aware from the moment Fogle arrived in Moscow in the spring of 2011 that he was a career CIA officer, and had consequently kept tabs on him.
Fogle’s attempt to recruit a Russian citizen on Monday was not his first espionage mission, and it was not the first time he had used disguise to attempt to evade surveillance, the FSB officer said.
Russia lodged an official protest with US Ambassador Michael McFaul on Wednesday morning when he visited the Foreign Ministry in downtown Moscow, having been summoned the day before amid reports that a US diplomat suspected of trying to recruit a Russian security services agent had been detained.
According to information obtained by RIA Novosti, McFaul was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
On Tuesday, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said that Fogle, a US diplomat working as a third secretary in the embassy’s political department, had been detained on the night of May 13 as he attempted to recruit an officer from one of Russia’s special services. Later on Tuesday the diplomat was declared persona non grata.
The US Embassy in Moscow has not commented on the issue yet, including on the latest FSB claim, while the State Department only briefly confirmed that an officer had been detained and released by Russian officials.