Russian security agencies are investigating several employees of the British Embassy for possible espionage, Russian state-run television reported. The report, broadcast Sunday evening, cited several officials with the Federal Security Service as saying the agency, Russia's main internal security body, had uncovered several instances of spying by embassy workers.
State-run Rossiya showed copies of documents it said showed Britain had transferred money to non-governmental organizations working in Russia. In a statement, Britain's Foreign Office rejected allegations that its dealings with Russian NGOs were improper.
"It is well-known that the British government has financially supported projects implemented by Russian NGOs in the field of human rights and civil society. All our assistance is given openly and aims to support the development of a healthy civil society in Russia," the statement said.
The head of the Federal Security Service last year accused U.S. and other foreign intelligence services of using NGOs to spy on Russia and foment political upheaval in ex-Soviet republics. Under legislation signed into law earlier this month by President Vladimir Putin, NGOs face tighter regulations on their financing and activities, reports the AP. N.U.