Written by Paul Wood
Rebuttal statement from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
On March 30, BBC published yet another item about our colleague, Russian diplomat Mikhail Kalugin, who headed the Russian Embassy’s economics division until last August. The article titled Trump Russia dossier key claim ‘verified’ alleges that Mr Kalugin was a spy and that this is proved by the so-called Steele dossier about Russia’s involvement in the US presidential election last year.
We want to once again make it quite clear that neither Mikhail Kalugin nor any other member of the Russian diplomatic service or any other agencies in the United States was connected in any way with the US presidential election and that they did not violate US laws.
Mikhail Kalugin is a career diplomat who worked in the United States for six years. His main mission was to promote bilateral economic ties. At present, he is on the Central Staff of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Contrary to what the BBC claims, during his assignment in the United States he regularly met with representatives of the US Department of State, the National Security Council and various US economic departments. Mikhail Kalugin was also engaged in the public sphere giving lectures and interviews.
Responsible media representatives can check this information and publish the results of their enquiries. By the way, the BBC item claims that the State Department staff who dealt with Russia have never met Kalugin. This is a bare-faced lie. Although all official forms and methods of interaction were curtailed in 2014 at the initiative of the Obama administration, our diplomats searched for and found ways to keep our bilateral relations afloat. It is an absolutely normal practice.
We would like to repeat that this item published by the BBC is an absolutely absurd story that runs counter to the corporation’s professional principles. We believe it’s time to stop spreading these politically motivated allegations.
Link to the original fake news story: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39435786