World Bulletin/News Desk
Russian citizens are being put under moral and psychological pressure to admit belonging to a network the United States says intended to acquire U.S.-made technology for Russia's military and spy agencies, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Moscow has dismissed talk of a new spy scandal involving its former Cold War-foe, saying the case brought by the United States is purely criminal and had "nothing to do with the work of the secret services".
U.S. federal prosecutors earlier this month charged 11 alleged participants with operating such a network.
"Russian diplomats along with lawyers will seek to...stop the psychological and moral pressure that is being put on Russians with the aim of persuading them to 'voluntarily' confess," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich earlier said Washington had informed Moscow that charges were criminal and unrelated to espionage but that U.S. authorities had "not properly informed" Russia of the arrest of its citizens.
Russia said it was deeply concerned about the case which could further roil ties between Russia and the United States, already strained by the closure of a U.S. aid agency in Moscow and threats by Russia to end cooperation on an agreement concerning nuclear and chemical weapons.
A U.S. official previously said Alexander Fishenko, a Kazakhstan native who emigrated to the United States in 1994 and has frequently travelled to Russia, had been charged with operating as an unregistered agent of the Russian government.
The Kremlin recently closed the U.S. Agency for International Development in Russia, which critics say is a pretext for clamping down on pro-democracy organisations funded by the agency.
Deal now has 34 backers in the Senate, the number needed to uphold Obama's veto
Rome is ready to 'reactivate' controls as 'a temporary measure to allow Bavaria to reorganise and face the emergency'
EU is set to maintain until March 15 sanctions targeted against almost 200 Russian firms & individuals, as well as Ukrainian separatists
During 4-day visit, rights chief is expected to address allegations of rights violations, sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers
Two government-chartered ships carrying some 4,300 people, most of them refugees from war-torn Syria, docked at Athens' Piraeus port
Army claims to have retaken strategic town on Cameroonian border from notorious militant group
The Israeli minister for Culture Miri Regev has said that the Palestinian women who saved a 12 year old boy from an attack by an Israeli soldier should have been shot.
Reports are emerging of Czech police forcibly removing Syrian refugees from trains to Germany and numbering the refugees on their forearms
Hundreds of refugees have protested outside the main railway station having being left stranded outside Budapest railway station with police blocking entry
If UK government separated issues of immigration and asylum, Labour leader candidate says Britons would respond to humanitarian crisis
Demonstrators rallied in Vienna against ill-treatment of refugees after 71 people were found dead in an abandoned truck last week
The Independent newspaper has revealed that Ultra Orthodox children in kindergarten, with some younger than age 3 are being taught to hate anyone who is not Jewish
The far right party has left the coalition with the party leader Oleg Lyashko criticizing the Ukrainian leadership saying that granting regional powers was a conspiracy.
Media reports say earlier self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics were preparing a referendum on accession to Russia
Nuclear power increase may help RSA solve its problem of electricity shortage, regular power cuts
Herds of cattle and their owners are are now another target in the sectarian violence of the Central African Republic