US confirms Russian ambassador routinely wiretapped
The US secret services confirmed that Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak was routinely wiretapped, when the scandal involving the former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn broke out, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"When the scandal involving General Michael Flynn, who had been working as (President Donald Trump’s) adviser for a few weeks, broke out, the US secret services told reporters that our ambassador Kislyak was routinely wiretapped, particularly meaning his reports to Moscow about his official diplomatic activities in Washington," TASS cited the Russian top diplomat as saying.
Lavrov called for paying attention to those who had long shown that they were trying "to follow all developments around the world, sometimes using methods not recognized as completely legitimate."
A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, reminded that the US intelligence agencies have admitted earlier that they wiretapped the Russian ambassador's talks with Donald Trump's National Security Adviser. "There is nothing new about it, both Snowden and Assange told about it. Americans confirmed wiretapping, because they believe that they are able to violate international regulations, agreements and laws," the expert explained.
However, he drew attention to the fact that these actions are intended to prevent Donald Trump from making friends with Vladimir Putin. "As Trump said, the business of many people from the US elite is built on blind hatred. If the relations between the US and Russia improve, they will lose their influence, money and reputation. That is why they are doing everything possible to ensure the eternal abyss between Washington and Moscow," Victor Litovkin said.
In addition, speaking about possible consequences and Russia's steps after this recognition, the expert stressed that most likely Moscow will not do anything," the military observer of the TASS news agency noted.
"I think that our experts have been aware of the American wiretapping for a long time. We have a system of secure communications on some phones. There is an open connection, but also there is a closed connection. I think that they are not able to wiretap closed connection, because it is the line on which the ambassador uses to call to the Foreign Ministry or the Kremlin," Victor Litovkin concluded.
According to the deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, the confirmation of the intelligence services of wiretapping the Russian ambassador was made for domestic American audience. "It is the consequences of the scandal with Michael Flynn, who was accused of not fully transparent negotiations with the Russian ambassador to the US. The intelligence agencies have been drawn into the conflict to end it: wiretapping was carried out as a routine work, there was no crime associated with treason from Flynn's part, otherwise they would have known about it.They just need to close the topic after the scandal of Flynn's resignation calmed down to show Trump's opponents that such issues are dealt at a very hard level," he explained.
According to the expert, Moscow will harshly react to these statements. "It is a breach of diplomatic protocol, ethics and all the agreements related to diplomatic immunity. But I think the reaction will be relatively moderate, since we already know our ambassadors are always watched. In the near future a big part of Trump administration's work will be linked to similar scandals inspired by his opponents. There is an information and political struggle against the US president and his team, so it is not the last scandal," Andrei Suzdaltsev warned.