19 May 2013, 19:42

US spy Ryan Fogle leaves Russia

Ryan Christopher Fogle, third secretary of the US Embassy in Moscow, who was earlier caught red-handed when trying to recruit a Russian intelligence agent, has left the country, NTV channel said airing a footage of the CIA spy passing through security at Sheremetyevo airport.

Russia declared Fogle persona non grata after he was arrested late May 13 and demanded that he leave asap.


Spy passions-2013: Fogle the Ungrateful

Andrei Smirnov

Analysts feel that the spy scandal will in no way affect further relations between Moscow and Washington. The US State Department also hopes so. Third Secretary at the US Embassy in Moscow, Ryan Fogle, has been caught red- handed by Russian FSB officers, declared a persona non grata and expelled from Moscow. Experts are certain that this is all there can be to it, given that the world situation is so grave now that neither the US, nor Russia is wishing to take an ultra-hard stand on the issue.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has deplored the fact that the incident occurred at a time when the Russian and US Presidents have confirmed readiness for boosting economic interaction. The US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, chose not to meet reporters.

When commenting on the spy drama, experts point out that evidence against Fogle was really crying, he must have stepped across the line he was not allowed to, and, besides, he acted too brazenly. The young secret agent may have been framed, as it were, to test the Russian special services, provoke their response and subsequently a scandal. This is what the General Director of the Centre for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, says about it in a comment.

"The scandal will hardly tell on Russian-American relations at a high level, Alexei Mukhin says. The incident is an ugly piece of news, on the one hand, but it is really curious, on the other."

There has been a qualitative change in Russia-US relations, so a prominent Russian political analyst, Boris Mezhuyev, says he is certain that this kind of incident is incapable of affecting the process.

"We are living in a different time, and there is a feeling that diplomatic relations progress in parallel with all sorts of exposures, Boris Mezhuyev says. The world situation is growing so involved that neither the US, nor Russia is willing to take an ultra-hard stand on the issue."

The Russian President’s foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov has referred to the incident as a case of clumsy recruitment against the background of the two leaders’ clearly manifested striving for stepping up cooperation and contacts between Russian and US special services. The Russian Foreign Minister thought the issue was superfluous for the talks with his US counterpart John Kerry in Moscow. Sergei Lavrov said everything has already been made public, with everybody understanding everything.

The Russian special services said they were even slightly offended by such clumsy moves by their counterparts from the other side of the ocean, because statements about cooperation were not just words. A joint group of CIA secret agents and FBI officers visited Dagestan, where the Tsarnayev family is making their home, in the wake of the Boston blasts in April. It was then that Americans met Russian counterintelligence service officers who gave them their telephone numbers. But when Fogle returned and started recruiting one of his new friends, a Russian officer, who is a counterterrorism expert in the North Caucasus, detained the secret agent and handed him over to the FSB personnel.

Voice of Russia, TASS

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