Kremlin officials on Wednesday denounced an alleged attempt by a U.S. diplomat to recruit a Russian intelligence officer, but suggested the scandal would have little effect on U.S.-Russia relations.
Earlier this week, Russian authorities briefly detained the diplomat, who was accused of trying to recruit the Russian agent to work for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
The diplomat was later expelled from the country.
President Vladimir Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told the state news agency Itar-Tass on Wednesday that the incident "does not contribute to the future process of strengthening mutual trust between Russia and the United States and putting our relations on a new level."
Putin's foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, expressed surprise over what he called the "crude and clumsy recruitment" attempt, in light of pledges by both sides to improve cooperation.
Ushakov added, however, that he did not think the incident would affect Russian-U.S. cooperation.
U.S. - Russia Spy Incidents
2013 Russia accuses U.S. Embassy official Ryan Fogle of spying and expels him.
2013 U.S. military policeman William Colton Millay convicted of selling U.S. military secrets to an FBI agent posing as a Russian spy.
2012 Retired U.S. Navy officer Robert Patrick Hoffman arrested for trying to provide classified information to FBI agents posing as Russian spies.
2010 U.S. authorities arrest 10 Russians, including Anna Chapman, and accuse them of being sleeper spies. They are handed to Russia in a swap deal.
2010 Russia jails Gennady Sipachev for selling secrets to the U.S.
2001 FBI agent Robert Hanson arrested for selling secrets to Moscow.
2000 Russia convicts businessman and former U.S. naval intelligence officer Edmond Pope for espionage. He is later pardoned and allowed to return to the U.S.
1996 U.S. convicts FBI agent Earl Edwin Pitts of giving classified information to Moscow for money.
1996 Veteran CIA officer Harold James Nicholson sentenced for selling identities of intelligence officers to Russia.
1994 U.S. counter intelligence officer Aldrich Ames pleads guilty with his wife to spying for Russia since 1985.
A member of the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, also predicted the spy scandal would have little effect on U.S.-Russia relations, noting that the relationship was already strained. Vladimir Burmatov said Wednesday that the passage of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Congress last December ended the so-called "reset" of relations, a policy aimed at improving ties between Washington and Moscow.
Last month, the U.S. imposed sanctions on 18 people in accordance with the law, designed to punish Russian officials involved in the imprisonment and controversial death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
"The passage of the Magnitsky List was the end of the so-called 'reset' relations, if they even existed in principle," Burmatov said. "And, it's unlikely, if there's an appropriate reaction from the American side, that this incident that happened with the spy who was caught has the ability to add heat to the situation."
The 18 people on what is known as the Magnitsky List are subject to visa bans and asset freezes. Most of them are Russian officials accused of involvement in the Magnitsky case. In response to release of the Magnitsky List, Russia issued a list of 18 Americans banned from Russian soil.
Also Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov summoned U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul in connection with the U.S. diplomat's arrest late Monday. McFaul declined comment following the meeting.
Russia's Federal Security Service identified the diplomat as Ryan Fogle, saying he was carrying special technical equipment, disguises, a lot of cash and written instructions for the Russian intelligence officer he was trying to recruit.
The security service said Fogle worked in the political department at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, as well as for the CIA.