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Russia Arrests U.S. Diplomat on Spying Accusations

May 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
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JUDY WOODRUFF: We turn to Moscow, where a U.S. Embassy officer was detained and accused of spying in a story that sounds right out of the Cold War.

Margaret Warner reports.

MARGARET WARNER: The announcement came in Moscow from Russia’s federal security service, the FSB.

Releasing these photographs and video, it said U.S. diplomat Ryan Fogle in a blond wig and hat had been detained in Moscow overnight. Officially, he’s a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy, but the Russians said he works for the CIA and was caught trying to recruit a Russian intelligence agent to work for the U.S.

Later today, the Russians handed him over to the embassy and ordered him expelled from the country. In Washington, the State Department’s Patrick Ventrell confirmed a U.S. diplomat had been detained, but declined to elaborate. The incident came as the U.S. is seeking Russian cooperation in two key areas, the investigation of the Boston bombing suspects and efforts to end the Syrian civil war.

Secretary of State John Kerry was in Moscow last week announcing a joint effort to bring about Syrian peace talks.