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.
Berlin sends military experts to Erbil to explore ways of better supporting peshmerga troops against ISIL
Opposition commander says more sophisticated weapons needed to defeat ISIL in Syrian Kurdish town Kobani
Israeli authorities closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex – for the first time since 1967 – and gunned down a Palestinian suspected of killing a rabbi
Tambuwal defected from the ruling party to the opposition on Wednesday
Hickox, who tested negative for the virus after returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, said that she plans to take the issue to court if Maine did not lift the quarantine
Eyewitnesses said scores of Palestinian students had hurled stones and empty bottles at an Israeli position near Birzeit, a town in northern Ramallah.
The 50 detainees were mainly Syrian but included nine Lebanese and one Palestinian, an army statement said.
Sunday's clashes raised fears of violent youths with no political agenda joining forces with a racist group.
The controversial government-proposed amendment would increase to three the maximum number of five-year presidential terms available to a single individual, opening the door for Compaore – in power since 1987 – to seek reelection next year.
Ministry spokesman Al-Bozum said that some of the names cited by the Egyptian media belonged to residents of the occupied West Bank who had never crossed into Gaza.
With no outright majority, Nidaa Tounes will seek to form a coalition with partners in negotiations that will likely last weeks before a new government is set up
Harun P. travelled to Syria at the end of September 2013 and became a member of the group, which trained and armed him, the prosecutor's statement said.
The Free Syrian Army is critical in the fight against ISIL, Syrian National Coalition leader Hadi al-Bahra said
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly complained of alleged covert U.S. and Israeli attempts to cripple its nuclear programme.
Special rapporteur expresses concern over conflicts with ethnic rebels, situation of Rohingya, media reforms, next year’s election
Twenty-six trucks loaded with construction supplies – including four carrying cement – entered the coastal strip