Russia Demands US Explanations on Spies Scandal
Moscow is demanding an explanation by the United States on the arrests of the alleged spies, the Russian foreign minister has announced.
“We were not told what was going on. I hope that will be explained. The only thing I can say was the time it was done was selected with a special grace,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference Tuesday.
He pointed out that Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has just concluded his tour to the U. S., during which he met with his US counterpart Barack Obama in order to continue repairing the relationship between the two nations that has been fractured over diverging foreign policies and business matters.
The Head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Ivanov, has declined to comment on the incident.
The United States have arrested 10 people for allegedly spying for Russia, one is still at large, the US Justice Department has announced.
The group, named “Illegals” by the police, have been accused for entering the U.S. with false identities and spying for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).
The first 8 have been arrested on Sunday, accused for “long-term, ‘deep-cover’ assignments”. Later, two more people from the spy-ring have been arrested. One remains at large.
If they are found guilty, the “Illegals” could serve up to 5 years in jail.
Nine of them have also been charged for money laundering. If convicted, they could face up to 20 years behind bars.
According to the criminal complaints, filed in the U.S. federal court, the accused had to “become sufficiently “Americanized” such that they could gather information about the United States for Russia and can successfully recruit sources who are in, or are able to infiltrate, United States policy-making circles.”
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