Russia has accused the British Embassy's top trade official in Moscow of espionage, the British Foreign Office confirmed Friday. The accusation appears likely to worsen Russian-British relations, already strained in part by the continuing fight for control at the TNK-BP oil company, which is jointly owned by the British company and Russian billionaires. The Interfax news agency, citing a source in Russia's secret services, reported Thursday that the head of the embassy's trade and investment section was believed to be a senior British intelligence officer. A Foreign Office spokesman on Friday confirmed that "the individual accused is acting director of UK trade and investment," but did not give a name. The Interfax report gave the name Christopher Bowers. The British Embassy Web site lists Chris Bowers as deputy director of the section; no director is listed. The former top trade official, Andrew Levi, was one of four British Embassy officials who were expelled from Moscow last summer.