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Newsline: U.S. condemns reported arrest of former U.S. consulate employee in Russia

The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it “strongly condemns” the reported arrest of Robert Shonov, a former employee of the United States’ mission in Russia, calling allegations he illegally collaborated with foreigners “wholly without merit.” Russian state news agency TASS reported on Monday that Shonov had been detained in the far eastern city of Vladivostok but was being held in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, usually reserved for serious crimes including espionage. Shonov, a Russian national, was employed by the U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok for more than 25 years until Russia in 2021 ordered the termination of the U.S. mission’s local staff, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement on Tuesday. At the time of his arrest Shonov was employed by a company contracted to provide services to the U.S. embassy in Moscow and his role was to compile summaries of Russian media reports, Miller said, adding that this arrangement complied with Russia’s laws and regulations. (https://news.yahoo.com/u-condemns-reported-arrest-former-173321787.html) Russia’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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