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Alleged Russian spy agrees to meet embassy consul in London

RIA Novosti

16:16 08/12/2010

LONDON, December 8 (RIA Novosti) - Suspected Russian spy Katia Zatuliveter has agreed to meet with a consul at the Russian Embassy in London after the meeting was formally approved by the British side, Charge d'Affaires of the Russian Federation in the United Kingdom Alexander Sternik said.

Zatuliveter, 25, an aide to Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock on the influential Defense Select Committee, was arrested on Thursday and is set to be deported over allegations that she was connected to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

"The British side confirmed the detention of Katia Zatuliveter with a notification to the [Russian] Foreign Ministry's official in accordance with the laws on immigration," Sternik said expressing regret over the hesitation by the British side in response to Russia's request for more information on the case or its offer to provide consular assistance to its citizen.

He said Zatuliveter agreed to meet with the consul.

"She reaffirmed her willingness to meet with a representative of the embassy," Sternik said.

"The British side is aware of this, therefore, the formal barriers for access to a consular officer at the center for deportation have been removed," he continued. "We expect to receive a confirmation from the British side in the nearest future. The consul is ready to depart as soon the approval from the British side is received."

Zatuliveter confirmed she was arrested on December 2 and charges have not yet been brought against her; however, authorities are preparing her deportation. Zatuliveter said she intends to challenge the decision.

Britain's secret service, MI5, said the assistant had access to classified documents supplied to the committee. Hancock recently initiated parliamentary questions about Britain's nuclear deterrent and the location of its international submarine bases.

Hancock has denied Zatuliveter is a spy.

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