MOSCOW: The Russia's security services openly named the United States (US) intelligence agency's station chief in Moscow to media on Friday in a rare breach of protocol that followed their capture of an alleged CIA agent who was working undercover at the US embassy.
The Russia announced this week that it had caught alleged agent Ryan Fogle as he prepared to recruit a member of the Russian security forces. Footage was aired showing him wearing a blond wig and his array of spying equipment including a compass and an old-fashioned mobile phone.
An unnamed representative of the Federal Security Bureau (FSB) security services told the Interfax news agency that back in 2011 the agency had "officially warned the CIA station chief in Moscow" over what it called "provocative recruiting moves towards Russian security services officers", and threatened "reciprocal measures towards CIA officers."
The report gave the full name of the alleged CIA chief of station in Moscow.
It also named another alleged CIA agent who had worked at the US embassy in Moscow, saying that he was declared persona non grata and left in January after he "carried out a similar action to Fogle."
Kremlin-funded television channel RT on its website Friday cited an FSB operative as saying that "in the case with Fogle, the CIA crossed a red line and we had no choice but to react observing official procedures."
The FSB agent told RT that the Russian security agency held a 2011 meeting with the CIA chief of station in Moscow.
RT also named the station chief although it gave a slightly different surname than Interfax.
"We decided to warn our American colleagues and ask them to stop these activities," the FSB agent told RT.
"We hoped our American colleagues would hear us, given that we also presented to them precise information about CIA officers making recruitment attempts in Moscow and who exactly was doing that."