Espionage accusations brought by the United States against three Russian citizens result from the major exacerbation of relations between Moscow and Washington, for instance, over the Ukraine crisis, Center for Political Technologies First Vice-President Alexei Makarkin said.
"The spy story per se is not a proof of currently bad relations between Russia and the United States. Yet it is a sign of a bad relationship because the story has become a matter of public knowledge and a focus of attention," Makarkin told Interfax on Tuesday.
"Whenever relations between countries are good enough, such occurrences are maximally cushioned and pass without much attention or fuss. When relations deteriorate, arrests are made if a person does not have a diplomatic status. The case is spun by the media, and that is done in a rather demonstrative manner. Naturally, the opposite side responds," the expert said.
In his opinion, the spy scandal is related to disagreements between Moscow and Washington over the situation in southeastern Ukraine. "I believe that espionage accusations brought against three Russians bear relation to the Ukraine crisis. Various countries have claims against each other from time to time. It is a different question whether these claims are founded or not," Makarkin said.
He recalled the "illegal spy ring" scandal in the United States, the best known part of which was Anna Chapman. "That was an exceptional case because it involved too many people. And it was impossible to mitigate it. But the exchange was rather rapid even in that case," the expert stated.
The U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday morning that Attorney General Eric Holder had announced espionage charges against Russian national Yevgeny Buryakov. It said Buryakov had been arrested in Bronx, New York City, and would face Manhattan Federal Court.
The New York Southern District prosecution service accused of espionage another two Russian nationals, Igor Sporyshev and Viktor Podobny.
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