Too Many US spies in Moscow says Russia | Touch Latest Local,World,Tech,Entertainment,Health,Sport News
20 September 2017 00:00:00 AM Breaking News

• WORLD

Too Many US spies in Moscow says Russia


Russia said on Friday that too many American spies operated in Moscow under diplomatic cover and said it might expel some of them to retaliate against the United States over Washington's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats last year.

The warning, delivered by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, reflects rising frustration in Moscow over the Trump administration's refusal to hand back two Russian diplomatic compounds which were seized at the same time as some of Russia's diplomats were sent home last year.

Barack Obama, U.S. president at the time, ordered the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies in December, along with the seizure of the two diplomatic compounds, over what he said was the hacking of U.S. political groups during the 2016 presidential election, something Russia has flatly denied.

President Vladimir Putin decided not to retaliate immediately at the time, saying he would wait to see what the new administration of Donald Trump would do.

Zakharova complained on Friday that U.S. officials were not issuing visas to Russian diplomats to allow Moscow to replace the expelled employees and get its embassy back up to full strength.

"We have a way of responding," she told a news briefing. "The number of staff at the U.S. embassy in Moscow exceeds the number of our embassy employees in Washington by a big margin. One of our options, apart from a tit-for-tat expulsion of Americans, would be to even out the numbers."

If there was no movement in the U.S.-Russia dispute soon, she said Moscow would have to reluctantly retaliate and suggested U.S. spies working in Russia would be among those to be expelled.

"There are too many employees of the CIA and the Pentagon's espionage unit working under the roof of the American diplomatic mission whose activity does not correspond at all with their status," said Zakharova.

Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Zakharova attends a news briefing in Moscow© REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Files Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Zakharova attends a news briefing in Moscow

'TIME RUNNING OUT'

Russia would also move to deny U.S. diplomats use of a dacha compound and a warehouse in Moscow, she made clear.

Separately, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had not yet taken any decision on retaliation. He said Russia rejected the idea of linking the dispute to other issues.

Peskov was responding to comments made to CNN by Sebastian Gorka, a Trump adviser, that appeared to link the compounds' return to Russia's behavior in Syria.

Zakharova said time for Washington to act "was running out."

"We don't want to resort to extreme measures. (But) if it's the only way to make our American partners understand we will have to act."

Asked when Moscow might retaliate, she suggested a lot would depend on the outcome of a meeting in Washington on Monday between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon.

Russia expected U.S. officials to use the meeting to set out "detailed proposals" on the matter, she said.

"There is no precise deadline. Everything depends on the reaction of the U.S. side, its concrete actions, and on the results of the consultations which will now take place in Washington."

(Additional reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Christian Lowe)

Recommended

Loading...

Related Posts

Burkina Faso: Australian woman kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Burkina Faso released in neighbouring Niger

An elderly Australian woman has been released by an al-Qaeda-linked terror gr

Read More

A Brazilian inflation fighter becomes immortal

BRAZILIANS who remember the hyperinflationary 1980s cheered the news on April

Read More

Algeria summons Tunisia envoy over ‘communist state’ comment

Algeria summoned Tunisia’s Ambassador in Algiers on Sunday a few days after th

Read More

Trump carves out tough commander-in-chief posture

President Donald Trump is getting a taste for pulling the trigger.In just the

Read More

5 things to know on Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Here are five need-to-know stories from Canada and around the

Read More

Cut funding, minimise diplomatic ties with N’Korea, US tells Asian ministers

Amid growing tension in the Korean peninsula, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillers

Read More

Gbagbo’s son charged with spreading ‘fake news’ about prisoner disappearance

Michel Gbagbo, the son of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, has been hurl

Read More

A Trump presidency must also be a laughing matter

When skilfully wielded and pointed at the right target, satire is a powerful wea

Read More

Pope tells Egypt ahead of visit he comes as peace messenger

 Pope Francis has told the Egyptian people he is coming to Cairo this week

Read More

South Korea's ex-president accused of €5.7 million bribe and 'leaking state secrets'

OUSTED SOUTH President Park Geun-Hye was charged with bribery today involving

Read More

Also Read

Interview: Lithuania welcomes China's effort for connectivity under Belt and Road Initiative

Lithuania hopes to strengthen economic cooperation with China and welcomes Chi

Read More

I Did the Best Thing I Could. So Why Do I Feel Bad?

An employee of a company tells the manager that she has evidence that her depart

Read More

Arik Air owes local, foreign creditors N387bn, says AMCON

Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) which took over the indebted Ar

Read More

Credit card crime: How Dammy Krane was caught and arrested in America

Apparently the high life he seemingly was living was being paid for by stolen cr

Read More

Anderlecht train in Manchester park ahead of Europa League tie against Man United

Anderlecht train in Manchester park ahead of Europa League tie against Man Unite

Read More

Attack victim Lisa Lees daughter vows to make her proud

The daughter of an Oldham woman who died in the Manchester terror attack has

Read More

Saturday Savings: Lucy Hale's Cute Muscle Tank Is Only $43

Saturday Savings: Lucy Hale's Cute Muscle Tank Is Only $43.Wenn.comWork out in s

Read More

Why Did Amber Heard Choose Elon Musk Over Johnny Depp?

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's marriage did not last as long as any of us had

Read More

Philippine finance minister points to imminent central bank governor decision

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will announce his choice for the next centr

Read More

To Ray Davies, America is a beautiful but dangerous place

To Ray Davies, America is a beautiful but dangerous placeImage copyrightALEX LAK

Read More