Tag Archives: spy

Bucharest – Moscow: Epilogue to spy stories / diplomats expelled

While Moscow expresses irritation and concern related at the expulsion of Secretary I of  Russian Embassy in Bucharest, and Romanian President ponder deeply what does special services and why not there something, a dossier on Russian diplomats in Bucharest (expelled Russian diplomat was sent home under a formal reply, crusty, cold war type, without being able to invoking even a  bags with newspaper cuttings), I propose a short exercise for enrichment of the imagination:

Prime Minister Putin surprised by the Romanian spies success

Imagine a Romanian-Russian bilateral discussion, where the Romanian president explained his Russian counterpart as is the “historical mission” of Romania – that to be a “bridge” between East and West, the guarantor of regional security and other similar phrases with beautiful form but without substance, but which didn’t missed any of the ephemeral leaders of Cotroceni Palace  when they had to say a solemn speech …

Imagine that the characters of this scene are President Traian Basescu and a Vladimir Putin easily amused – we don’t know if it’s because of speech or of memories of holidays at Camp Davis  or Kennebunkport – Maine ! … But know that the reply of President / current Premier of Russia, in his typical still, may soberly of illusory power drunkenness to anyone has an atom of consciousness of  value  and could be the delight of the press for many days …

Imagine that, in the best Romanian tradition where everything can be resolved with a phone, it seemed normal to Romanian President to ask Russian counterpart about mobile private phone number, stating that: “I very much want, during my time in office , to become one of your European friends, a friend who can you call at any time and who you can call at any time “… “Mr. President, you can call me at any time on the Kremlin phone … They’re ably to find me everywhere, at any time …” interlocutor responded, seeming to smile (ironically ?!) about this unusual request …

Imagine that the ex-captain of the ship humiliated by an ex-KGB colonel, who asked him to call on the central phone of the Kremlin as any ordinary president, considered that the only smart way to respond to humiliation incurred was opening a confrontation in typical Cold War, assuming a player whose sum is zero for Romania, but giving him the illusion of rehabilitation of wounded pride …
Of course, transcript of discussion can ever prove otherwise – or maybe not ? Evidence that we are relatively in imagination space: Kremlin archives and also the archives of the Romanian Embassy in Moscow recalls about this meeting summary  …

Here, however, we can see that the desire of the “mission” is fulfilled and Romanian is “bridge” between the adjustments of accounts and espionage between East and West … just that compared with Russia’s spy network, recently called on the wall of Washington, USA Allied spies – just disguised as diplomats – seem to be neophytes,  so with the “historical” part must to wait …. Запишите ?! …could probably says Russian Prime Minister to Romanian President. Again… 🙂

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The spy stories continue with a new hero – FSB has detained a Romanian Embassy diplomat in Moscow

Shpionskii istorii pradaljati … It seems that the spy stories become a fashion in times of crisis. So…

“The Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained a Romanian diplomat when he tried to obtain secret military information from a Russian citizen. The FSB identified the diplomat as Gabriel Grek of the External Information Service working at the Romanian embassy as first secretary of the political section”.

“Seized from the intelligence officer was spying equipment that fully exposed his hostile activities against the Russian Federation,” the FSB public relations centre told Itar-Tass on Monday, August 16. The investigation is underway, commented Itar-Tass.

Romanian Embassy Moscow

“The Russian Foreign Ministry has protested via diplomatic channels to the Romanian side over Grecu’s activities, which were incongruous with his diplomatic status” the FSB said, noticed Ria Novosti.

Espionage equipment was seized from Grecu, the FSB said in a press release. The security agency did not reveal the identity of the Russian source involved in the case in the interests of the ongoing investigation. Romanian diplomat was later released and will have to leave Russian territory within 48 hours. Neither the Romanian Embassy in Moscow nor the Romanian Foreign Ministry has commented on the incident. Previously, Gabriel Grecu was to Romania’s diplomatic mission in Armenia.

Kremlin‘s message seems pretty clear, even though it’s pretty hard to say what led. Assumptions are many. The incident comes just two days after taking over the rotating leadership of Romania’s Black Sea Multinational Naval Force (BLACKSEAFOR). Romanian diplomat detention means a pressure way on the subject of American missiles Romanian territory ? Or a reaction to recent statements by President of the Republic of Moldova, Michael Ghimpu ? Or maybe a NATO presence in Moldova has created chills on the Kremlin halls  ? Over 100 soldiers from the national army in Moldova, taking part in “Peace Shield 2010“, which started Monday, August 16, 2010, at the Army training base Bulboaca, regional media reports, quoted by news agency KARADENIZ PRESS. Peacekeeping exercise “Peace Shield 2010” takes place between August 16 to 27. Operational evaluation process of the National Army according to NATO standards began in 2007. Exercise “Peace Shield 2010” represents the third phase of this process and the final evaluation is planned next year.
Or maybe the Russian authorities wanted to divert the public attention since the fire problem that continues to play havoc on Russian territory ? Unlikely, but not impossible …

It is an unfriendly message, a warning from Russia. But I refrain to classify it as an “explosive” incident for the Russian-Romanian relations. Note that Prime Minister Putin said openly that he awarded the spies sent home by U.S.  Russian Prime Minister also said that Russian agents network was discovered as a result of betrayal. “As I said, this scandal has emerged as a result of betrayal. Traitors always end up bad, drinking or drugs” Putin said, adding that he  know the name of traitors guilty of failure of extensive Russian intelligence operations against the United States, Canada and Mexico.  Intelligence is part of the game and he knows it best. The message was sent, waiting for the awards for FSB successful action. Maybe more money from federal budget ??! 🙂

Russian spies are everywhere…or FBI wants more money from federal’s budget ?

Amid the recent arrests of Russian spies in the United States is in the public eye and another topic. Although we may think we have a huge invasion of SVR agents. They seems to be everywhere… ;)) The 300-page report by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution – Germany’s domestic intelligence agency – was presented on Monday, 22 June 2010, by its head Heinz Fromm along with Maiziere, Deutsche Welle (DW) writes. The authors of the report underline that Germany is a country with an economy oriented for the development of technologies and export. The Interior Minister said that the threat of industrial espionage – which increased in 2009 – was of particular concern to the government. Largely the Internet is to blame, Maiziere said, as the exchange of information via the worldwide web increases the risk of falling victim to spies. Maiziere noted that currently companies underestimate this risk and urged them to work together with the government to protect technologies from competitors.

“The situation with dangers [to German economy] is concrete. Such states as Russia and China – via their secret services – actively conduct undercover work in such fields as economy, science and research,” the document reads. According to the data released, Russia and China also “track technical information as well as business strategies.” The most dangerous inquiries, the document states, “are those aimed at mobile communications and computer systems (conducted via internet) of various businesses and state organizations. International financial and economic crisis also has its negative effect upon security structures of private enterprises.”

Earlier in May, the problem was voiced by the head of Germany’s counterintelligence, Burkhard Even. Speaking at a security forum in Bonn, reported Germany’s The Local, he claimed that it was estimated that out of the 500 staff of the Russian embassy in Berlin, 150 were working as intelligence agents, disguised as journalists and diplomats – and there might be a lot more of those among about five million Russians living in Germany.

“Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said it expects an explanation from Berlin over the “groundless” accusations of industrial espionage on the territory of Germany”, report Russia Today on Monday, 28 June 2010. “First of all, we are talking about a standard set of claims against Russian diplomatic missions in Germany, which in the understanding of German counterintelligence services are ‘spy nests’ posing a threat to Germany’s security” said Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Andrey Nesterenko. “We would hope to get explanations from our partners through diplomatic channels” he said, the ministry’s webpage quotes.

If about German report Moscow said that “again abounds in groundless accusations against our country borrowed from the past – as it seemed – Cold Era times”, about new allegations of espionage in the United States, Russian officials were quick to not comment. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Israel, but has found time to a short comment on the matter. “They haven’t explained what they mean. I hope they will do so. The only thing I can say is that it’s perfect timing” Lavrov said, noted that U.S. authorities announced the arrest days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the United States..

But there were voices on both sides of the political commentators have labeled the scandal as “a bad film series”. Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst said that: “case is PR for FBI, to show they’re still in business, they’re active in anti-terrorist war”.  Such success could, to say, affording them the opportunity to request more money from the federal budget, U.S. analyst concluded.

Worth mentioning is another aspect: Russian spy scandal will divert public attention from the recent and controversial U.S. removal of General McChrystal from Command of Military Forces in Afghanistan  just when a major offensive involving about 700 U.S. and Afghan troops along eastern Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. Gen. David Petraeus will try to convince a war-weary Congress on Tuesday, 29 June 2010, that he is the man to turn the war in Afghanistan around and mend the military’s tattered relations with civilian leaders. Lawmakers say he is a shoo-in to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whom President Barack Obama fired last week after the general and his aides were quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article disparaging specific people in the administration, including Obama, who in the U.S. system is overall commander of the U.S. military. Petraeus probably will be confirmed this week.

Prime Minister and Former KGB spy Vladimir Putin – who by an odd coincidence was meeting former US president Bill Clinton in Moscow — said he hoped the arrests would not impact the recent improvement in Russia-US ties. Using his trademark irony, Russian Prime Minister did not hesitate to note his guest that: “You came at the right time ! Your police have let themselves go, and put people in prison”. However, as anticipated in previous posting,  Putin told his American visitor in comments broadcast on state television that: “I expect that the positive tendency in relations over the last years is not harmed. We very much hope that people who value good relations understand this”.