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May 15, 2013

Ambassador summoned by Russian foreign ministry over spy scandal

MOSCOW — The U.S. Ambassador to Russia was summoned by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday over Moscow's claim it caught a U.S. diplomat disguised in a blond wig trying to recruit a counterintelligence officer for the CIA.

Michael McFaul entered the ministry's building in central Moscow in the morning and left half an hour later without saying a word to journalists waiting outside the compound.

Russian security officials reported on Tuesday that they briefly detained Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy, who was carrying special technical equipment, disguises, written instructions and a large sum of money. Fogle was later handed over to U.S. Embassy officials.

McFaul has had a tough run in Moscow since he took office in January 2012.

He provoked the ire of Russian officials when one of his first acts was to invite a group of opposition activists and rights advocates to the embassy.

Later, McFaul alleged that Russia had offered money to the leader of Kyrgyzstan for removing a U.S. base from its soil.

Fogle¹s detention appeared to be the first case of an American diplomat publicly accused of spying in about a decade.

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