Official representatives of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service and of the US embassy in Moscow did not confirm reports of certain mass media regarding the alleged agreement between special services of the two countries to publicize on July 30 causes of death of former CIA officer Edward Lee Howard who since mid-80es resided in Russia. On Wednesday chief of the press service of the Foreign Intelligence Service Boris Labusov stated to RIA Novosti that "they knew nothing about that." A representative of the American embassy in Moscow stated in his conversation with RIA NOvosti that "they did not comment on such mass media reports and could not confirm that information." According to the Washington Post newspaper which gave reference to an anonymous friend of the Howards, this American agent of the then KGB who had escaped to the USSR from the United States in 1985 allegedly died on July 12 this year having broken his neck at his dacha outside Moscow.
Edward Lee Howard was born in October 1951 in the state of New Mexico (USA). According to Western mass media, in spring 1985 while working in Austria, Howard came to the Soviet embassy and offered his services as a KGB agent. The same year he was betrayed to Americans by one of Soviet defectors. The FBI questioned Howard but having no direct evidence did not arrest him but only put him under constant surveillance which he escaped and went to the USSR via Finland. In 1986 the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union officially granted political asylum to Edward Lee Howard.
After the break-up of the USSR in 1991 Howard left Russia for a certain period of time and resided first in Hungary and then in Sweden but in August 1992 he returned to Russia and was engaged in commercial operations.