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    February 20, 2017

    Lavrov: US is wiretapping and "aggressively pressuring" Russian diplomats

    February, 20, 2017 - Fort Russ News - 
    RIA Novosti - translated by J. Arnoldski - 

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, stated at a press conference today that US intelligence services are constantly wiretapping the Russian Ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak. 

    “In connection with the scandal surrounding Trump’s national security advisor, General Flynn, who worked for only a few weeks, American intelligence services have absolutely officially, albeit anonymously, told journalists that, for example, the communications, as they put it, of our ambassador Kislyak are constantly wiretapped. Including his reports to Moscow on what he is doing in Washington in fulfilling his duties,” Lavrov said at today’s press conference. 

    Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak

    Last week, General Flynn resigned from his advisory post in the Trump Administration and admitted that he had given the White House inaccurate information on contact with the Russian Ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak. Just before, media reports had claimed that Flynn had discussed anti-Russian sanctions with Kislyak back in December 2016 despite Trump’s team and Flynn's own denial of this.

    The Kremlin has stated that Flynn did indeed talk with Kislyak, but that their conversation has not been reportedly accurately.

    Lavrov has previously spoken of continuous attempts by intelligence services to recruit Russian diplomats in the US and Europe. According to the minister, this is very often done "unceremoniously", even in the presence of family members of diplomats. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, “there were several such approaches” which Moscow “paid attention to” every time, Lavrov stated.

    The Kremlin has in turn taken note of Washington’s attempts to pressure Russian diplomats and gather intelligence through often “very aggressive methods.” 

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