US envoy summoned in Russia spy row

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MOSCOW: US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Wednesday met officials at the foreign ministry after being summoned to explain the presence of an alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent working undercover at the embassy who was detained this week.

Russia on Tuesday ordered the expulsion of the alleged US agent, identified as Ryan Fogle, the third secretary of the political section of the US Embassy after airing footage of his capture while wearing a blonde wig.

McFaul arrived at the ministry for the 10 a.m. (6 a.m. Manila time) meeting but declined to speak to journalists at the entrance, Russian television reported. He was seen leaving the building after a brief meeting shortly afterwards.

He had been expected to meet Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the RIA Novosti state news agency reported.

The ministry had summoned McFaul for an explanation after slamming Washington for what it described as “provocative acts in the spirit of the Cold War.”

Washington acknowledged the incident on Tuesday.

US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell confirmed that an American staffer at the embassy had been briefly detained, but refused to respond to allegations that the man was an undercover CIA agent.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists that he had opted not to bring up the case at Tuesday talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

AFP

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