Russia declares alleged CIA agent missing, search underway
Iran Press TV
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:32AM
Russia has formally placed an alleged CIA agent on a list of missing individuals after US media reports claimed he had been evacuated to America.
An entry in the Russian Interior Ministry's database showed the former Kremlin official, alleged to be a CIA informant, was missing and being looked for, the RIA news agency reported Monday.
Earlier this month, US media reports said the alleged CIA informant had been extracted to the United States in 2017.
According to Russian media, the Kremlin official may have been a man called Oleg Smolenkov, who had once worked in the Russian Embassy in Washington.
He disappeared with his wife, Antonina, and three children while on holiday in Montenegro in Southeast Europe back in June 2017.
Smolenkov, according to a New York Times report, was a mid-level Russian official the CIA had recruited decades ago and had rapidly reached a senior level with access to President Vladimir Putin.
The Times also said that he was persuaded to leave Russia amid increased scrutiny by Moscow.
The Kremlin has confirmed that Smolenkov worked in the Russian presidential administration, but said that he was fired in 2017 and was not a senior employee.
Moscow asked the United States via Interpol earlier this month to clarify the whereabouts of Smolenkov after Russian news reports identified a house listed as belonging to a man with his name in Stafford, Virginia, near Washington DC.
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