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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Arrest Provokes Russia Anger at U.S.

Moscow angrily accused the United States on Monday of arresting a former Russian intelligence official who had gone on a visit to New York after openly acknowledging his former profession.


In a statement issued on the eve of the U.S. election, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, hinted that Moscow might retaliate over the "dirty and provocative" action.


Vladimir Galkin was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at New York's JFK airport Oct. 29 while accompanying an official delegation, it said.


The statement said the FBI had accused Galkin of having been a Soviet intelligence agent and trying through go-betweens to obtain secret information from the United States.


Galkin had been a foreign intelligence worker until 1992 but had not been involved in such work since then, the statement said.


"The U.S. authorities responsible for this provocative act have not yet put their cloaks and daggers away. Former U.S. intelligence agents who visit Russia will not thank the FBI for this," it said.


The SVR said Galkin had made clear what his former career was when he filed his visa application, which was accepted by U.S. authorities.


It said his arrest broke with the usual procedure of allowing visas for intelligence staff who had left the service and that his arrest was a "dirty trick."


Asked by telephone about the possibility of retaliation, SVR spokeswoman Tatyana Samolis said that Moscow hoped Galkin would be released before it came to that. "At the moment all efforts are being concentrated on obtaining his release," Samolis said.