Sunday, December 05, 2010

Alleged SVR Operative Katia Zatuliveter Shown the Door

The U.K. Guardian (12-5-10) reports:

The Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock today defended his Russian parliamentary aide, who is facing deportation after reports that she had been arrested by security services on suspicion of spying.

The home secretary, Theresa May, is said to have approved the removal of 25-year-old Katia Zatuliveter after being briefed by MI5 about her alleged activities...

The Sunday Times reported that Zatuliveter was being held in a secure unit. She is said to have held a Commons pass and underwent security vetting before taking up her post. She was arrested by police and UK Border Agency officials last week.

It is alleged she was working for the SVR, Russia's foreign intelligence service. "Her presence here is not considered to be conducive to national security. There was unhappiness about what she could have access to. The intention is to show her the door," a source is said to have told the paper...

Hancock, who has a longstanding interest in Russia, is a vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on the country.

Zatuliveter's detention was reported just days after the Guardian published US embassy cables, obtained by WikiLeaks, reporting that UK foreign office officials regarded Russia as a "real intelligence threat".

The cables also suggested a grim picture of UK-Russia relations following the fatal 2006 poisoning of the Russian spy turned dissident Alexander Litvinenko.

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