Major U.S. media, including the electronic version of The Washington Post, published the information about the involvement of the head of the Russian Scientific and Cultural Center in Washington, Yuri Zaitsev, in the creation of a secret network of agents.
According to journalists, who refer to the FBI, the head of the Russian Cooperation in Washington was engaged in the recruitment of American citizens. US-based publications wrote that they got hold of the cables between FBI agents and the Americans, who came into contact with Zaitsev and made trips to Russia at the invitation of the Russian Cooperation. One of the witnesses questioned, 27-year-old Richard Portwood, directly stated that he considered Zaitsev a spy.
In response to such publications, the Russian Embassy in Washington vehemently denied the allegations, calling them " an echo of the Cold War."
These publications try to "torpedo the efforts of the presidents of Russia and the U.S. aimed to expand direct communication of Russian and American citizens and strengthen mutual understanding and trust, which would bring the bilateral relations to a new level," embassy spokesman Yevgeny Khorishko said.
An official representative of the FBI refused to either confirm or deny the media reports about suspicions against the Russian official.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea