“Not that I am aware of, no,” Jen Psaki said when asked if there has been any discussion between the State Department officials and the officials in Russia in the past 24 hours, stressing that they have been in contact with the Department of Justice.
On Monday, federal prosecutors in New York charged Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobny on suspicion of acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government. On the same day, Buryakov was placed under arrest and appeared before US Magistrate Judge in Manhattan federal court.
“While they were here, they both had immunity and cannot be arrested,” Psaki noted. “Typically, when individuals are no longer here, it’s no longer applicable.”
“What I can confirm for in this case is that a request for a waiver of immunity was not a factor,” the spokesperson concluded.
According to the US Department of Justice, Sporyshev said he was a Russian trade representative, while Podobny said he served as an attache to Moscow’s mission to the United Nations.
- Yes, I think it is a matter of balance of power.17.8% (454)
- No, I believe the countries will return to a constructive dialogue.6.8% (174)
- I don’t think the situation should be viewed in that context.10.0% (255)
- I think the new Cold War is already on.65.4% (1674)
The next hearing on the case is scheduled for February 9. Buryakov who is facing up to 15 years in prison, but said he would not plead guilty.
The Russian consulate general in New York said Tuesday that Russian diplomats will visit Buryakov on Wednesday.
Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said Tuesday that the United States has not provided any evidence to support the charges against three Russian nationals, and that US authorities have used the favored tactic of creating spy scandals, although the relations between the two countries are already tense.