MOSCOW: A Russian security services operative — his features bathed in shadows — went on state television Wednesday to claim that the U.S. diplomat who was ordered out of the country was the second American expelled this year over spying allegations.
The anonymous operative said the CIA had failed to halt this “disturbing activity” despite Moscow asking it to do so.
The TV report came one day after Russia ordered Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy, to leave the country after the Federal Security Service claimed to have caught him red-handed trying to recruit a Russian agent in Moscow. The agency, known by the initials FSB, alleged that Fogle worked for the CIA.
State TV channels showed a man identified as an FSB agent saying that another American was told to leave in January in “another case of recruitment.” The speaker, whose identity as an FSB operative could not be confirmed, did not give the name of the expelled American.
Various Russian TV networks gave different names for the American, and the FSB refused to clarify the name to the Associated Press. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell declined to comment.
The purported FSB agent said that in the January case his agency had decided not to publicize the expulsion, unlike the Fogle case, which has been top news in the Russian media for two days. He said the FSB asked its U.S. counterparts after the January case to halt this “disturbing activity.”
The attention given to the Fogle case contrasts with recent moves by Washington and Moscow to develop closer cooperation on counterterrorism in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15.