YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Seven individuals were called to criminal responsibility for espionage in 1997 in Russia–Director of the Russian Federal Security Service–Nikolay Kovalev said at a news conference on Tuesday. According to him–that unprecedented figure testifies that foreign intelligence services are successful in their work.
Kovalev said that as a result of the only trials completed–CIA agents Finkel and Dudin were found guilty and sentenced for up to 12 years in prison. Kovalev reported that in the past year 142 attempts of transmission of top secret state information were suppressed. Among those cases was an attempt to transmit information on military strategy. According to Kovalev–if the operation succeeded "there would remain no secrets in that sphere."
Kovalev also reported that as a result of the operation of a confidential phoneline more than 1,000 important phonecalls were received. At present–80 of them are under examination. According to Kovalev–agents who reported on their cooperation with special services of England–the US and other states are exempt from responsibility.
"Professional staff agents of different special services worked during the Soviet era–and now continue to work in the CIS," Kovalev said. According to him–in case a staff agent is detected it is reported to other CIS countries which take measures on suspension of their activity.
According to Kovalev–there is an agreement between CIS special services not to conduct intelligence activity on the territory of other CIS states.
Armenia’s National Security and Interior Minister Serge Sargssian reported that both in the past and this year several people were discovered to have been carrying information out of Armenia. "But unlike Russia–for certain reasons–we did not institute criminal proceedings. It is not always right to suppress the work of an agent. Sometimes it is useful to know him–to follow and control him," he said.