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

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Pompeo met with Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service or SVR, and Alexander Bortnikov, who runs the FSB, which is the main successor to the Soviet-era security service the KGB.

Sergei Naryshkin, chief of the Presidential Executive Office of Russian Federation, waits for Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama before their meeting at Hatoyama's official residence on November 30, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan.

"With the president of the United States not taking leadership - the way our free election system works, the way that it is so open - you need to be sophisticated in your defense", he explained. He held consultations with his counterparts. We maintained contact in 2014 during the Sochi Olympics.

While neither United States 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 USA for discussions. "The administration instead released a list of more than 200 Russian officials, politicians and 'oligarchs, ' defined as people with a net worth of more than $1 billion - who it said could be penalized".

Mr. Cardin said he's concerned that without proper protections in place, the Russians will try to meddle in the US elections, as they tried to do in 2016, only this time he fears they could be successful. Politics will be politics, but everyday work will be everyday work.

He added that "politics is politics, work is work".

The Washington Post said January 31 that Bortnikov and Korobov came to the USA capital last week, and that Bortnikov had met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, as did Naryshkin. Naryshkin was sanctioned in 2014 in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

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.

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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".

The visit came less than a week before President Donald Trump decided not to issue any new sanctions against Russian politicians and oligarchs over Russian meddling in the US election.

Last week, the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reported that the Netherlands intelligence concluded that some of the Russians running a hacking operation, known as Cosy Bear, against Democratic organisations were SVR agents.

USA intelligence agencies have accused the FSB - considered Russia's main domestic intelligence agency - and the GRU - the Russian military's intelligence arm - of being behind the cyberhacks of US political parties and activists.

The meeting comes amid heightened concerns about Russia's aggression overseas - something about which Trump's own national security strategy warned and Pompeo himself addressed on Monday.

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.

On Tuesday, Trump refused to impose new sanctions against Russian Federation, passed unanimously by Congress in response to Russia's campaign to tip the 2016 election in Trump's favor.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded that the administration "immediately come clean and answer questions-which US officials did he [Naryshkin] meet with?"