American intelligence agencies are trying to recruit Russian journalists, said at a briefing the official representative the Ministry of foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova.
«In addition to legislative pressure of the government of this country (USA) are actively practicing a less formal, but, in their view, apparently, more effective methods. Recently representatives of the Russian media, including in the United States, were subjected to strong pressure from the security services, namely, attempts to recruit».
Zakharov said that this is the so-called approaches to journalists by both state and non-state Russian media. Attempts to recruit she called «numerous and multi-stage».
As an example, Zakharova cited the case — first, the media proposed cooperation, then tried to bribe, and was rejected, he moved on to psychological pressure and threats.
The spokesman did not name any names, no names media.
According to her, the us intelligence officers «invaded personal space, including after hours, has made similar approaches to family members, to the very people who in principle have nothing to do with journalistic activities.»
«We put the question in this case is not only to our American colleagues, but also to the entire international community about the unprecedented pressure on the Russian mass media of the United States of America,» she said, adding that it is including the requirement for RT to register as a foreign agent.
The representative of the foreign Ministry said that, if you ask the question on the attempted recruitment of journalists at the state Department, «they would say that they have about these cases is unknown».
«I can only imagine in what situation are the American media themselves, which, as we know now, you can find any justice from the security services,» she said, expressing hope that the OSCE representative on freedom of the media «will draw attention to this unacceptable situation and make the appropriate conclusions.»
— In General, the recruitment of foreign nationals is common practice that the operation of any intelligence, — said the chief editor of the Forum. MSK Anatoly Baranov.
Of course, trying to recruit those who by the nature of activities or because of relationships may be of interest to foreign intelligence services. Interest may be very diverse, so that the objects of the recruitment can be very different. In this case we are talking about journalists, as you can see, working abroad. They are due to the nature of their work can have access to diplomatic information, to have contacts with some people who may be interested in special services. It is in the most General terms — specifics can be very diverse, up to recruiting in order to use the object for provocation.
«SP»: — Zakharova called these attempts «are numerous and multi-stage». What, in your opinion, may be the scale of this phenomenon?
— I think the scale is limited only by the budget of the organization concerned. In principle, recruiting activity is one of the indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of both the individual employee and of the whole structure. Everyone wants to curry favor, there is a Mercantile interest, as everywhere, say, in construction or in the hotel business everywhere registry, ostentatious activity. But the real work happens, I guess.
«SP»: — Journalists of what mass media could be of interest to US intelligence agencies?
— According to Zakharova, and by the way, what such information she may have on the nature of its activities, we are talking about journalists, accredited in the United States on a permanent basis, living there permanently with their families. It is a small pool of the press, it is easy to understand, you are talking about. We in America are kept a little together, not only journalists, but also diplomatic staff, technical staff of the Embassy, including the employees of our intelligence agencies, working «under a roof». Usually they are known «potential enemy», but to have the informant in this environment makes sense — but it is not today. Remember symmetrical expulsion of Russian diplomats after spy scandal — sending not just anyone, but those who are they listed in the possible agents. By and large, any «diplomatic colony» is always a kind of risk. It is no coincidence that, in the questionnaires there is always working abroad. For example, did not come particularly notable journalist from a long trip, and suddenly became the press Secretary of the foreign Ministry or foreign intelligence — the most valuable shot for any special services… And on the other hand, what a field for the indiscriminate spying! I went on holiday to Spain or Greece? Well, clearly, the spy of the three intelligence.
«SP»: — she urged once again raise the question about the pressure on Russian media, Recalling that it is, in particular, about the requirement for RT to register as a foreign agent. If you can call it all part of a single strategy? What is its ultimate goal?
Check the media as a «foreign agent» and a foreign agent in the spy sense — a little different concepts. And then I will tell seditious thought — and Russia has independent media that is able to contain a network of foreign correspondents? The Kremlin for 24 years, since the era of mortgaging auctions, leads a sustained campaign to take full control of all major media. Today this task is in principle solved, really independent media in Russia can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and their «population» continues to decline. These media generally are poor, they practically only survive. What there long trips abroad — to Penza meal here Saturday at its own expense.
And the reverse side of the coin, that is, the success of the authorities in complete control of the media is a natural suspicion in relation to any Russian journalist abroad working for the government in General and intelligence in particular. I would’ve added and recruiting activity for our Russian special services within the journalistic community.
«SP»: — Who, in your opinion, still, except for diplomats and journalists may be of interest to US intelligence agencies?
— Employees of trade missions and foreign trade of Russian companies, primarily pertaining to military-technical cooperation with foreign countries. Business representatives, particularly large — that’s how you think, Kerimov is now only communicate with the police or the French secret services, too? An oligarch is not just a rich man, this man, sometimes controlling an entire sector or even several sectors, but it is necessarily associated with government power and control. Kerimov — he’s a member of the Federation Council, before the Deputy of the state Duma, a man with a Ministerial status in Russia. Now count up «Nafta-Moscow», the company Karimov, a former Soviet «Soyuznefteexport», the foreign trade enterprise, from the most «tasty» targets for the recruitment of Western intelligence agencies. Now add the «Ural steel», «Polymetal», «Polyus gold», «Uralkali» — it’s a huge strategic enterprises. It’s not even a Ministry on the scale. It is imagine that the head of Committee of the CPSU on heavy industry would have lived on the Cote d’azur under the control of the secret services of NATO. And we have almost all of the oligarchs — there, under the wing of «potential enemy».
So the reporters on this background — only a very small fry.
— The recruitment of journalists by the security services — quite a common thing, agrees a member of Bureau of Presidium of party «Rodina», the Director of liberty Institute, Fyodor Biryukov.
— Because the press is not accidentally considered the fourth power. They hold in their hands the tools of influence on the minds of millions of people, levers of public opinion formation. Therefore, every journalist recruited by a professional is the universal soldier of the global information war.
The interest of us intelligence to the Russian press also is quite logical, as Washington continues to wage against Moscow information and political war, and it is gaining momentum. For Americans it would be ideal to fill our edition of their agents that would produce relevant content, calculated on the Russian audience.
In addition, today in Russia actually began a full-scale presidential campaign, Putin announced his intention to go to elections in March 2018. And the lion’s share of Western media and propaganda resources of tomorrow will focus on the decline of voter turnout, lower interest result of the current President, as well as to support its various opponents, including all the liberal freaks. And in this respect the presence of the spy network of Russian journalists would be very desirable for the American specialists, engaged in confrontation with Russia.
«SP»: — will they be Able to create such a network?
— I should note that the level of patriotism and professional loyalty among our journalists in the vast majority of leading media is quite high. I believe that even among employees of a prominent opposition radio station that broadcasts in this state money, the Americans are unlikely to find a suitable footage. And the fact that the problem said the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, shows the negative attitude of our journalistic community to the recruiting activities of the United States.