Undercontinuing criticism for carrying personal goods rather than reliefsupplies on his return flight from a recent visit to Washington, Dumaspeaker Ivan Rybkin said through a spokesman that he had been carryingspecial communications equipment instead, Segodnya reported May 30. TheForeign Intelligence Service (SVR) press bureau confirmed that thecargo on Rybkin’s plane was for FAPSI, the Russian government agencycharged with monitoring communications. Another anonymous SVR sourcetold the paper that Russian officials “fairly frequently” carry suchequipment because they can do so under diplomatic seal. Segodnya notedthat the SVR was more concerned about criticism of blockinghumanitarian assistance than it was about “the possible consequences ofmaking public the practice of delivering secret equipment by officialplanes.”
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