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Russian Arrest of U.S. Diplomat Undermines U.S.–Russian Ties
Posted By Ariel Cohen On May 15, 2013 @ 6:00 pm In International | Comments Disabled
In a scene reminiscent of the spy thriller TV series “The Americans,” Russian FSB secret police Monday night detained and then released an alleged CIA operative, Ryan Christopher Fogle, who is a Third Secretary at U.S. Embassy Moscow. The Russian government later declared  him “Persona Non Grata” (PNG) and expelled him from the country.
This, and the lack of a U.S. protest, suggests that Fogle may have been an intelligence officer. Yet, while this is a murky affair, it suggests that Russia is in no mood to revive the “reset ” policy and improve relations with the Obama Administration.
Let’s try and connect the dots. Russia decided to make a mountain out of a routine espionage molehill. Unless those who conducted the arrest wanted to attract attention to themselves, to their “heroic acts protecting the Motherland,” there was no need to make so much noise.
It would have been sufficient to quietly notify the U.S. Embassy and the State Department to call back the diplomat. The FSB decided to make a splash, and the Russian state-controlled TV channels played along. They wouldn’t be doing that without the green light from the Kremlin.
Since Presidents Vladimir Putin and Obama are about to meet at the sidelines of the G8 summit and the G20 meeting, the Kremlin could have improved the U.S.–Russia relationship by giving this arrest a lower profile than it did.
This incident makes sure that the reset  remains as dead as a doornail. No surprises there. A week after John Kerry’s visit to Moscow, we are back to a mini-Cold War, courtesy of the Kremlin and the FSB.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/05/15/russian-arrest-of-u-s-diplomat-undermines-u-s-russian-ties/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/russian_flag120622.jpg
 declared: http://www.usnews.com/news/newsgram/articles/2013/05/14/russia-wants-ryan-fogle-to-leave-accuses-of-spying
 reset: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/08/reset-regret-heritage-foundation-recommendations
 meeting: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/05/09/russia-kerrys-chilly-kremlin-reception/
 not forthcoming: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/04/25/fbi_tamerlan_tsarnaev_investigation
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