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Russian Arrested, Accused of Spying For Britain

May 6, 1996

MOSCOW (AP) _ Russian officials have arrested a Russian man who confessed to spying for Britain and plan to expel several British diplomats who had contact with him, authorities said today.

``The man was seized red-handed as he was in the process of communicating with his headquarters,″ said Boris Kostenko, spokesman for Russia’s Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB.

A search produced ``a spy’s equipment,″ he added, without elaborating.

The man admitted he was spying for the British Intelligence Service and told the agents about his recruitment and contacts with British intelligence officers, Kostenko said.

Kostenko would not give the man’s name, date of arrest or any other details.

British officials in Moscow would not comment on the allegations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed ``a resolute protest″ to British Ambassador Andrew Wood over the use of diplomatic cover by British intelligence officers, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

A Foreign Ministry official informed Wood that ``a number of English intelligence officers who hold diplomatic posts in Great Britain’s embassy in Moscow″ will be told to leave Russia for maintaining contact with the agent, ITAR-Tass said.

In London, after refusing to comment at all for several hours, the Foreign Office said in a statement: ``Until there is an official Russian statement we have no comment to make, but we regard the kind of allegations being made as completely unjustified.″

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