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    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

    US Seriously Increased Activities Aimed to Recruit Russian Diplomats - Moscow

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    According to the Russian deputy foreign minister, the US has significantly increased its intelligence activities aimed to recruit Russian diplomats.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States has significantly increased its intelligence activities aimed to recruit Russian diplomats in recent years using threats and pressure, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Tuesday.

    "In the last two years and a half [US] recruiting activities in regard to our employees have significantly increased, and US intelligence services use the most miserable means of pressure, including threats to health of [the diplomats'] family members," Ryabkov said in a statement.

    He added that the United States created artificial difficulties for implementation of the Russian diplomats' duties, citing a recent tightening of rules regulating the movement of Russian officials across the US territory.

    At the same time, US State Department accusations against Russia on the alleged harassment of US diplomats are false and are an attempt to divert attention from cases of the United States kidnapping Russian nationals around the world, Sergey Ryabkov added.

    On Monday, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said that US diplomatic and consular staff in Moscow has been subjected to increasing levels of harassment and surveillance on the part of Russian security personnel and traffic police.

    "As we have stated many times, such speculations have nothing to do with reality, and are, in fact, an attempt to divert attention from Washington's own improper actions, against Russian nations included. We mean the continuing practice of US intelligence services abducting Russians around the world," Ryabkov told reporters, as quoted in a Foreign Ministry statement.

    In April, the Russian Foreign Ministry renewed its warning of the threat of Russian nationals being detained or arrested at the request of US law enforcement bodies or special services in third countries.


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