The US State Department says it has duly screened a Russian private security firm contracted to help guard the Moscow Embassy.
The State Department said today it had "vetted the company and the name of each individual identified or associated with Elite Security with relevant national and local agencies." A US state procurement website indicated that September's contract was worth USD 2.8 million.
The statement follows a report in the Russian business daily Kommersant, which said Elite Security was founded by ex-KGB spy Viktor Budanov and is currently run by his son.
Kommersant said Budanov was a one-time boss of Vladimir Putin in East Germany when the Russian president served as a KGB officer there in the 1980s. Budanov also worked with British double agent Kim Philby.
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