Agents “Spying on Russia with NATO help”

Moscow, Associated Press, December 16, 2006. Russia’s security chief said foreign intelligence agents are actively spying on Russia with the help of new NATO members, according to an interview published yesterday.

“Special services of leading world powers are active in Moscow and in other regions of our country,” Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Federal Security Service, know as the FSB, said in an interview with the Izvestia daily.

Patrushev, whose agency is the main KGB successor, said the agents actively cooperate with representatives of countries that recently joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to collect information on Russia’s political and business life and on defence and science sectors and the fight against terrorism.

Patrushev was apparently referring to former Soviet bloc countries, such as the Baltic States and other Eastern European countries that used to be part of Moscow’s sphere of influence.

‘Hard to imagine’

He said that over the past two years Russia has uncovered 50 foreign intelligence agents and convicted a number of Russian citizens spying on behalf of foreign states, including from Germany, China, Britain and Lithuania.

“It is hard to imagine that the Lithuanian special services would act in the interests of only their state, whose priorities are now being set by the policy of the North Atlantic alliance,” Patrushev said.

Copyright AP, 2006

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