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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FSB Tells of Russian Who Met with MI6

A Russian citizen has admitted to cooperating with British foreign intelligence and turned himself over to authorities out of fear for his life, the Federal Security Service said Tuesday.

The man, whose name has not been released, went to the FSB earlier this month after Britain's MI6 contacted him and "insisted on a meeting in a European city," the agency said in a statement. The FSB said self-exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky contacted him as well.

"Berezovsky called him more than once and insisted on a private meeting in Israel," the statement said. "Furthermore, he demanded an immediate meeting with British intelligence."

The FSB said the exchanges took place after a Moscow news conference last month called by businessman Andrei Lugovoi, whom Britain has charged with the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and wants extradited. Lugovoi implicated Berezovsky in Litvinenko's death, saying he was working on the orders of MI6.

The would-be spy gave the FSB the names of several of his British intelligence contacts and also disclosed when and "in which European cities" the meetings took place, as well as which "tasks" they gave him, the statement said.

An FSB spokesman reached Tuesday declined to elaborate on the statement.

FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev told reporters in Kaliningrad that a criminal investigation would likely be opened in connection with the information, though it was unclear what, if any, charges the man who turned himself in would face.

"With time, the public will be presented with all the most interesting aspects of this case," Patrushev said, Interfax reported.

The British Embassy said it could not comment on intelligence matters, citing embassy policy.

Berezovsky said by telephone that he travels to Israel every month and meets "lots of people" and that he could not speculate on the identity of the person in the FSB statement.

"I talk to hundreds of people on the phone every day, and who knows whether they are FSB agents or genuine people?" Berezovsky said. "But I have not in recent months tried to convince anyone to meet me in Israel."

Tuesday's statement was the second in two weeks involving allegations of British spying connected to the Lugovoi news conference. The FSB announced on June 15 that it had opened a criminal investigation into Lugovoi's allegations but did not specify the subject of the investigation. It was unclear whether the man described in Tuesday's statement was connected to that case.

The two countries have had a series of spy flaps in recent years. In January 2006, the FSB accused four British Embassy staff members of spying with transmitters concealed inside fake rocks. In August, a Moscow military court sentenced retired intelligence agency Colonel Sergei Skripal to 13 years in prison on charges of spying for Britain.