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US diplomat in spy flap leaves Moscow, Russian TV reports

FSB via AFP - Getty Images file

A handout photo taken early on May 14 and released by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) shows a man, identified as Ryan C. Fogle being questioned after his arrest.

The U.S. diplomat who Russia claims tried to recruit one of its intelligence officials to spy for the CIA has left Moscow, Kremlin-loyal TV reported on Sunday.

A Russian NTV broadcast appeared to show the U.S. embassy employee, Ryan Christian Fogle, moving through security at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow on Sunday, according to reports from the Associated Press and the BBC.

Fogle’s flight left on Sunday, according to the reports.

It was unclear where Fogle was heading. The U.S. Embassy has refused to comment on details of the case.

Fogle, who reportedly was wearing a blond wig, carrying cash, and had technical equipment when arrested, was briefly detained last week by Russian authorities. Russia declared Fogle "persona non grata" and ordered his expulsion last Tuesday.

The Russians identified him as the third secretary of the political division of the U.S. Embassy. The State Department said only that an officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow had been detained and released.

The Russian security service, known as the FSB, released to Russian media photographs of the American’s arrest and what it said were items he had with him, including two wigs, a torch, a compass and a wad of 500-euro notes, each worth $650.

Russian television also displayed a letter it said was found on Fogle, printed in Russian, that offered $100,000 for a potential CIA recruit.

After the decision to expel Fogle was made, the Russians then revealed a person they purport is the CIA station chief in Moscow.

According to a NBC News translation of FSB's statement on Fogle's arrest, American intelligence has made multiple attempts lately to recruit employees of Russian law enforcement agencies and special divisions, the Russians claim.


'Spirit of the Cold War': Russia says US diplomat was trying to recruit for CIA

Ryan Fogle, a 29-year-old U.S. Embassy employee, was reportedly caught trying to recruit a Russian intelligence official to work for the CIA.  NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.

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