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Russia not to use detained ex-U.S. Marine as pawn, Kremlin says

Russia reserved the right to conduct the counter-intelligence activities
16:54, 9 January 2019

Paul Whelan, U.S. ex-marine, who was arrested in Moscow
EPA

Russian authorities rejected Britain’s suggestion that it might use the ex-U.S. Marine detained in Moscow on espionage charges as a pawn in the diplomatic game. The Kremlin informed it reserved a right to carry out counter-intelligence activities, as Reuters reported.

“Commenting on the case earlier this month, British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said individuals should not be used as pawns of diplomatic leverage,” the news agency reads.

Related: Paul Whelan's arrest poses opportunities for Putin and Trump

“In Russia, we never use people as pawns in diplomatic games. In Russia we conduct counter-intelligence activity against those suspected of espionage. That is done regularly,” the Kremlin’s Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

Earlier, The Washington Post informed that Paul Whelan had four citizenships. Supposedly, he is the citizen of the United States, Great Britain, Ireland and Canada. 

Related: Ex-U.S. marine arrested in Russia for espionage appears to be British citizen

Prior to that, Russia’s Federal Security Service reported that the U.S. citizen Paul Whelan was arrested in Moscow on suspicion of spying.  

The service reported that the American was detained “during the espionage action”.  

Related: U.S. seek access to ex-marine detained in Russia

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