Russian Federation requests Interpol info on suspected spy location

Russian Federation requests Interpol info on suspected spy location

Russian Federation requests Interpol info on suspected spy location

Speaking at a news conference on September 12, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova did not say when the inquiry was sent to Interpol, but suggested it followed USA media reports that said the Central Intelligence Agency had extracted a high-level Russian informant in 2017.

Russia requested Interpol to check the information on whereabouts of suspected US spy, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

American media reported this week that U.S. agents had extracted a high-level mole in the Kremlin who had confirmed Vladimir Putin's direct role in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Following the United States reports, Russian newspaper Kommersant said the Kremlin official might have been a man named Oleg Smolenkov. CNN said on Tuesday the informant had helped show that Putin had directed Russian interference into the election to favor Trump.

A source familiar with the US government's handling of the informant told Reuters the mole had provided information that helped establish Russian involvement in efforts to influence the 2016 USA campaign.

"In this regard, Interpol was asked about the disappearance of a foreign citizen and his rumored presence in the United States", Ms. Zakharova said, according to the outlets.

The alleged informant was whisked out of Russian Federation in 2017 amid fears he was at risk of exposure.

Outlets operating under the Russian government's control responded to the reports by naming the likely Central Intelligence Agency mole as Mr. Smolenkov, a former member of President Vladimir Putin's administration who had reportedly disappeared while vacationing with his wife in Montenegro more than two years ago.

The Kremlin this week said the man had worked there but did not have direct contact with Putin.

Asked on Thursday whether he knew Smolenkov, Ushakov told reporters: "No comment".

Russian state news agency RIA said on Wednesday it had visited a house listed as owned by a man named Oleg Smolenkov in Stafford, Virginia, near Washington D.C., an area where it said many former USA military and Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel live.

The official had ties to Putin's top foreign policy advisor Yury Ushakov, Kommersant said.

It said the curtains of the house were drawn, that there was no sign of any activity inside and that no one answered the door.

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