MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian intelligence agency Friday publicly identified an individual it claims was the Moscow station chief of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as of late 2011 – a move widely seen as a breach of protocol in the intelligence community.
A man identified as an official with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) named the alleged CIA station chief in an interview with state-run television Friday in which he gave new details about the agency’s highly publicized detention of purported US spy Ryan Fogle earlier this week.
In the interview, the FSB official reiterated earlier claims that his agency had explicitly called on the CIA to stop trying to recruit Russian security and intelligence officers.
In late 2011, he added, the FSB formally warned the CIA station chief in Moscow, whom he identified by name, that “in the event that provocative efforts to recruit employees of the Russian special services continue, the FSB … would take reciprocal measures against American intelligence officers.”
The officer, his face blacked out and voice altered, said that Fogle’s brief detention this week – reportedly preceded in January by the unpublicized ouster of another US diplomat suspected of spying – had been made public because the CIA continued to disregard the warning.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that “a diplomat of the same name [given by the FSB official] is listed as a Counsellor in the US Moscow embassy in the autumn-winter 2012-13 edition of a directory of foreign diplomatic, media and business offices in the city.”
It was not clear whether the man identified as the station chief is still in Moscow. US Embassy officials were not immediately available for comment.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a news conference in Washington Friday that she had not seen the report and referred further questions to the CIA.
The CIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.