Dmitry Pascutto: Natalia Seliverstova / RIA Novosti
Moscow never uses people as pawns in the diplomatic game, said the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the possibility of sharing the suspect Paul Whelan on the Russian Maria Butina. It is reported TASS on Wednesday, January 9.
“Russia’s conduct counterintelligence activities against those suspected of espionage activities, so on a regular basis”, — he said.
A Kremlin spokesman said he did not know about the reasons for the detention of Whelan. He advised journalists to contact the appropriate statement of special services.
US citizen Paul Nicholas Whelan was detained December 28 last year. Against it criminal case under article 276 of the criminal code of Russian Federation (“Espionage”), he faces up to 20 years in prison. According to press reports, in 2008, he was dismissed from the marine Corps of the United States because of the theft. In Russia, he allegedly visited since 2007.
Currently in an American prison is Russian Maria Butina. US authorities accuse her of conspiring to conduct activities in a foreign state. In December she partially admitted his guilt. The Kremlin believes the charges are unfounded, the Russian foreign Ministry believes that Butina tortured.
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