Expert: Hillary Clinton’s Tech Initiative Spawned Russian Spying on US

Simon Rowe writes at the Independent:

Claims that a Russian technology park is masterminding industrial espionage against foreign companies have been described as “curious” by former junior minister Conor Lenihan – who promoted the park internationally in his role as Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.

Moscow-based Skolkovo Foundation hired the former Fianna Fail TD in 2011 to market a state-funded science park that Vladimir Putin set up to rival California’s Silicon Valley.

As vice-president of Skolkovo Foundation, Lenihan played a key role in attracting many of the world’s leading technology firms including Intel, Cisco, Nokia and Boeing to the 1,000-acre high-tech business park, in addition to securing €1.2bn in R&D investment mainly from US firms.

Last week the technology park was accused in the US of being a ‘Trojan Horse’ run by Russia’s spy agencies.

When contacted, Lenihan said US claims over alleged spying were “curious”.

“We had a strong working relationship at the time with the US embassy in Moscow and the US State Department who, as a matter of policy, was actively supporting our initiative, and actively assisting us in our efforts to bring large US investment to Skolkovo,” he said.

Lenihan was responding to a report published by a Florida-based watchdog, Government Accountability Institute, alleging that the Skolkovo project is a corporate spying operation run by the Russian military. He left the company in 2014.

“The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application,” the report states. Basing its allegations on FBI, US military and cybersecurity experts’ findings, it adds: “The true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.”

Read the rest of the story here.


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