Russian lawmakers protest British 'spying'

Jan. 25, 2006 at 3:21 AM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Russia's lower house of Parliament has said it will lodge a protest with the British Parliament and the OSCE about four British diplomats accused of spying.

Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, a former interior minister and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin's, said Tuesday, "We feel indignant at the situation, and tomorrow we are likely to adopt an appeal to our colleagues from the British Parliament," The Moscow Times reported, citing the Russian news agency Interfax.

Later Tuesday, the deputy director and the chief spokesman of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, spoke to lawmakers about the case at a closed meeting.

Afterward, the chairman of the Duma's Security Committee said lawmakers would ask the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to consider whether British intelligence had helped fund Russian non-governmental organizations.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, said the FSB allegations were proof that Western intelligence was trying to weaken Russia by funding Russian NGOs.

His party's Duma deputies adopted a statement that demanded the restoration of the KGB. "Such actions were impossible during the times of the KGB," it read. "We call for the reinforcement of the security agencies and conscription to (create) a new KGB."

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