Russia has declared a U.S. embassy employee it accused of trying to recruit a Russian intelligence officer to work for the CIA "persona non grata" and ordered his immediate departure.
The move came Tuesday after the Federal Security Service announced it had briefly detained a U.S. citizen it identified as Ryan Fogle.
The FSB said Fogle was employed as a third secretary in the political department of the U.S. embassy in Moscow but also worked for the CIA. It said he was caught with special technical equipment, disguises, a large amount of cash and a letter to the Russian he was attempting to recruit. Russian media quoted the letter as offering the Russian intelligence officer $100,000 to start with and up to $1 million for "long-term cooperation."
A U.S. State Department spokesman confirmed that a U.S. staffer at the American embassy was detained and then released. The spokesman declined to comment further on the matter.
The Russian state news agency Itar-Tass published a photograph purporting to show Fogle's "equipment" displayed on a table, including a Moscow road atlas and wigs.
Russian news agencies also published what they said was a photograph of Fogle's detention, showing a man face down on the ground with his hands behind his back.
In a statement Tuesday, Russia's Foreign Ministry said that at a time when the Russian and U.S. presidents have declared a readiness to expand bilateral cooperation, "such provocative actions in the spirit of the Cold War by no means promote the strengthening of mutual trust."
Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul for an explanation following the suspected agent's detention.