Friday, 22 February, 2019

Russia says it caught former US marine accused of spying red-handed

Russia accused Washington of being uncooperative on efforts to save a crucial arms control treaty Russia accused Washington of being uncooperative on efforts to save a crucial arms control treaty
Leonard Rios | 18 January, 2019, 00:09

Trump on Monday denied media reports at the weekend that the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2017 investigated whether he acted against US interests, and that he had concealed details about his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling reporters he never worked for Russia.

"We welcome and support contacts that have now begun between Kurdish representatives and Syrian authorities so they can return to their lives under a single government without outside interference", said Lavrov. The US is now set to formally start the six-month process of quitting the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty on February 2, Nato allies have been told.

Mr Lavrov noted that earlier this week, the United States had ignored Moscow's proposal to inspect a Russian missile that Washington claimed had violated a nuclear arms treaty.

"It's quite obvious that the situation is absurd", Lavrov said about the US investigation.

The United States has rejected a Russian proposal on saving a key Cold War arms control treaty because the pact can not be properly verified.

"Our questions why the Americans don't want to examine our proposals and get first-hand information about specific parameters of the missile were left unheard", he said.

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Turning to last month's arrest in Moscow of Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, on suspicion of espionage, Lavrov said the man's brother has visited Moscow and has been briefed about prison conditions.

"We weren't able to break any new ground yesterday with Russia", Thompson said of the January 15 meeting with Russian Foreign Ministry officials.

Lavrov denied claims Whelan was arrested in order to conduct a prisoner swap with the U.S.

Lavrov said the investigation into Mr Whelan continued and his detention was not motivated by any desire to try to exchange him for Russian citizens held in the US. He is director of global security at BorgWarner, a US auto parts maker based in MI.

Whelan holds citizenship from U.S., Britain, Ireland and Canada, and Lavrov said Russian Federation will allow consular visits. He rejected allegations that Russian Federation was gloating in the turmoil, saying that Russian Federation is interested in seeing a "united, strong and, most importantly, independent European Union".

"These are not pre-conditions, it's just an effort to understand why Japan is the only country in the world which can not say: 'I accept the results of World War II in their entirety, '" Lavrov told a news conference, according to Reuters.

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