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Official: US Still Spies on Russia
December 19, 2001

MOSCOW (AP) - Despite the warming of Russia's relations with the West, U.S. and other Western intelligence services are still keen to steal Russia's military secrets, a senior Russian counterintelligence official said in an interview published Wednesday.

``If leaders of other countries shake hands with (Russian President) Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, that doesn't mean that intelligence services have laid down their weapons,'' said Gen. Valery Falunin, who is in charge of the military counterintelligence in the Moscow region. ``They are working, and working quite actively.''

Asked by the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets who are his service's top adversaries, Falunin said: ``The traditional set: the secret services of the United States and other NATO member states, plus neighboring countries.''

Falunin's interview contrasted with the statements of his patron, Nikolai Patrushev, the chief of the Federal Security Service, the main successor of the KGB, which includes military counterintelligence.

Speaking at a meeting with Russian media editors Tuesday, Patrushev made no mention of U.S. spy activities - a significant omission apparently reflecting the improved relationship with Washington.

Patrushev only mentioned the U.S. security services in the positive context - pointing at increased cooperation of Russian intelligence ``first of all with the American CIA and FBI'' in the effort to hunt down terrorists.

But Falunin focused mostly on alleged U.S. espionage efforts. He referred to one case that he described as an attempt by U.S. military intelligence to obtain documents relating to state-of-the-art Russian military hardware.

``The Americans were acting in an extremely blatant way, practically in the open,'' Falunin said. ``They apparently believed that military counterintelligence was paralyzed and were quite surprised when they saw it wasn't.''

In connection with the case, a Russian court last month sentenced a Russian citizen to 15 years in prison for espionage. The convict was identified only by his last name, Kalugin. Two other Russian citizens, identified only as the Ivanov brothers, were sentenced to 1 1/2-year sentences for divulging state secrets.

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