Russia’s top diplomat says U.S. intelligence agencies were so desperate to recruit Russian spies in Washington last year that American officials planted $10,000 in cash inside a Russian official’s car, along with a letter asking the envoy to work with the U.S. government. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made that claim Tuesday, as he roundly dismissed the Obama administration’s ongoing assertion that U.S. diplomats have faced increasing harassment in Russia during recent years. To the contrary, Mr. Lavrov claimed, it’s actually American spies who’ve increasingly bothered Russian officials in Washington. In his first public comments on the matter since the Obama administration ejected 35 Russian officials from the U.S. last month on suspicion they were actually spies for Moscow, Mr. Lavrov claimed American intelligence attempts to recruit Russian spies in Washington spiked last April. “We have not made public the full statistics on this matter, but recently, in the past few years and especially during Obama’s second [term], the number of such unfriendly actions directed at our diplomats have grown,” the Russian foreign minister said.
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Newsline: Moscow claims U.S. spies planted $10,000 in Russian diplomat’s car