Sanctioned Russian spy official met with counterparts in US

Russia's Spy Chief Visited Washington Amid Publication of 'Kremlin List'

Last week's meeting between Pompeo, Naryshkin and Bortnikov reportedly centered on containing terrorist attacks, but it comes amid multiple investigations into whether or not Russian Federation influenced the 2016 USA presidential election.

Naryshkin's trip to the United States raised concerns among some USA senators.

The Washington Post said January 31 that Bortnikov and Korobov came to the US capital last week, and that Bortnikov had met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, as did Naryshkin.

Naryshkin was appointed head of the SVR by Russian President Vladimir Putin in September, 2016.

While neither USA nor Russian officials explicitly said that Pompeo and Naryshkin met, both sides confirmed that talks occurred between intelligence counterparts and Russia's U.S. ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, said that Naryshkin made a trip to the United States for discussions.

President Donald Trump has called many times for reconciliation with Russian Federation, arguing that the country is an essential partner to addressing security challenges in Iran, North Korea and elsewhere.

Naryshkin is now under sanctions imposed by the USA under the Obama administration for his alleged role in Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

"We sanction the head of their foreign intelligence, and then the Trump administration invites him to waltz through our front door", Schumer said, calling it "an extreme dereliction of duty by President Trump". But Democrats criticized the list, saying it had been cobbled together from publicly available sources, including Forbes magazine's list of the wealthiest Russians.

The sanctions are meant to freeze any assets of the individuals under US jurisdiction and prohibit "transactions by USA persons or within the United States involving the individual".

News of the meeting is likely to stoke controversy about the Trump administration's relationship with Russian Federation. Did any White House or National Security Council official meet with Naryshkin?

"While we do not discuss the schedules of USA intelligence leaders, rest assured that any interaction with foreign intelligence agencies would have been conducted in accordance with USA law and in consultation with appropriate departments and agencies", the official said in an email to RFE/RL, on condition of anonymity.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the meetings "a serious national security issue".

The meeting dealt in part with cooperation on counterterrorism issues, said people familiar with the proceedings.

A Central Intelligence Agency spokesman said there was nothing to see here. The United States and Russian Federation do occasionally share information about threats to each other's countries, but it is not a robust process and doesn't compare to the close cooperation the United States has with its Western allies.

One U.S. official said the director's tough public remarks seemed at odds with some of the private messages that the agency is receiving to look for ways to work with Russian Federation. Pompeo had on Monday told the BBC he believes that Russian Federation will seek to interfere in November's mid-term elections. We sanctioned the head of their foreign intelligence.

"I haven't seen a significant decrease in their activity", Pompeo told the BBC.

The directors of Russia's three main intelligence and espionage agencies all traveled to the US capital in recent days, in what observers said was a highly unusual occurrence coming at a time of heightened U.S.

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