Illustration photo: Atle Staalesen

Lavrov: U.S spies running around in Murmansk

They use rental cars and try to stay unnoticed, the Russian foreign minister says.
January 18, 2017


Minister Lavrov lashed out against against the U.S. and its outgoing administration in yesterday’s Foreign Ministry press conference. Over the last years, American foreign intelligence activities against Russia has increased, the minister said.

The statements comes as a response to repeated U.S. complaints that American diplomats in Russia are subjected to serious harassment from the Russian side.

According to the Russian foreign policy chief, the Obama administration in its last four years in office stepped up its efforts to recruit Russian spies. Murmansk is one of the regions of U.S. interest, he confirmed, a transcript from the meeting reads.

«Employees of the U.S military attache love to travel around in our country in rental cars. They do not have diplomatic number plates, but regular Russian numbers, which decreases their chances of being noticed», he said.

«They travel around in Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Murmansk, Voronezh.»


Murmansk has for decades been an area of espionage activity.

In 2009, the Murmansk regional administration was accused by local media for promoting connections with the American National Democratic Institute, an organization supporting democracy projects abroad. The accusations were raised in connection with local mayoral elections.

Released archive materials from the CIA show a great number of reports from the Russian Arctic region. Among key objects for U.S. intelligence in the area appears to have been naval sites, infrastructure and industry. 

The Kola Peninsula is known for its potent military capacities. The region houses the powerful Northern Fleet and its strategic and multipurpose submarines. There are a total of five closed military towns in the region and a great number of military installations. In addition, Murmansk is the home port for Russia’s civilian nuclear-powered vessels and there are several powerful companies operating in the field of mining, metallurgy and power production.



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