Suspected Russian spy worked at USA embassy in Moscow for 10 years

MOSCOW RUSSIA- JUNE 5 2018 The building of the US Embassy at 8 Bolshoi Devyatinsky Lane. Sergei Petrov  TASS

According to a report from The Guardian, by the time it was discovered that the woman had been spying for the Russian government she had already worked at the embassy for more than a decade.

The United States Secret Service has flatly rejected a report from British daily The Guardian that a Russian citizen working on the staff of the US Embassy in Moscow had any access to classified data, a spokesperson for the American intelligence service told TASS.

A female employee came under suspicion following a routine security sweep by the State Department - it found she was having regular unauthorised meetings with the Russian intelligence agency FSB.

The State Department alerted the Secret Service, a branch of the Homeland Security Department, in January 2017 and revoked her security clearance in the summer of that year.

'We knew it was happening and it was just a process of playing it out, ' they said.

"She had access to the internal network of the Embassy, email and databases, including the working schedules of the presidents, Vice-presidents of the US and their wives, and came to the attention of American special services for their regular informal meetings with the FSB", says the source.

It is alleged that a woman was officially hired by the US Secret service.

The Secret Service, however, issued a statement on Thursday claiming that the spy was never informed of any national security security secrets, adding that she was never in any "position to obtain" such information. Instead, it chose to let her go quietly months later, possibly to contain any potential embarrassment.

'Only an intense investigation by an outside source can determine the damage she has done'.

Instead the woman was sacked discretely months later, but it was overshadowed by the Kremlin's expulsion of more than 750 U.S. personnel following sanctions from Washington.

Acknowledging that foreign nationals can clearly be influenced by foreign intelligence agencies at any time, the agency noted that this situation is specifically tailored to Russian Federation.

The US State Department told Agence France-Presse it was looking into the report, but does not comment on intelligence matters. Foreign employees are relegated to "translation, interpretation, cultural guidance, liaison and administrative support" duties, specifically because they "can be subjected to foreign intelligence influence".

"We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide by the United States", Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said.

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