Russian foreign ministry has suggested CIA & co helped Evgeniy Primakov to his grave
US intel agencies are going overdrive in sharing wild stories about Russia and Trump, but Russia has now hit back by sharing a story about the US intelligence agencies that is just as wild, and a lot more believable.
Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry has as much as accused the CIA & co of helping along the ex-Russian PM, Evgeniy Primakov to his grave.
Primakov died two years ago from an illness he was treating with a rare medicine that could only be purchased in the US. However the Russian embassy staff who picked up the medicine was then grabbed by US spooks and thrown into a cellar:
Time was of the essence, so as a favor to its former chief the Russian Foreign Ministry organized the purchase of the drug through a practicing US doctor. An embassy employee was supposed to pick up the package and deliver it to Moscow through diplomatic channels.
However, the emissary was stopped by people, whom Zakharova described as “agents of American special services.” She said the Russian diplomat was taken to the basement of the building and kept there, unable to contract the embassy.
“They kept him there for an hour. And the way they spoke to him looked more like an attempt to recruit an asset rather than a regular conversation. They were threatening him with accusations of illegal trafficking of medical drugs,” she said.
The Russian was eventually released (and later expelled) but the drug was confiscated:
The unnamed intelligence agency behind the move didn’t even repay the cost of the purchase to Primakov’s family, which amounted to about $10,000, Zakharova added.
Zakharova suggests this may have played a role in Primakov's death:
“Unfortunately time was lost. A lot of time. I am not a doctor to judge the consequences. But time was lost,” she said.
To be perfectly clear, Zakharova fails to provide a timelime. We don't know how much time was lost, and how far apart this incident and Primakov's death were. Until we do this is an incendiary accusation but not one that is properly substantiated.
It goes to show however, that as its name is being dragged through the mud in the US, Russia is not averse to slinging some of that mud back.
Actually Zakharova specifically frames the story in the context of US intelligence agencies attempting to sabotage John Kerry's State Department:
We contacted the US State Department at once,” Zakharova said. “When [Secretary] John Kerry learned about it, they were terrified. It was a frame-up of the State Department!”
The Americans did much to atone for the diplomatic gaffe, including organizing consultations between Primakov’s doctors and American doctors specializing in his condition. They also did everything possible to deliver the drug in question as soon as possible, Zakharova acknowledged.
Perhaps it's Lavrov's way of reminding Trump not to trust the agencies.