An American citizen was arrested by the Russian secret service while he was committing “an act of espionage”. This is what announces a statement of the FSB, published this Monday.
The man, named Paul Whelan by Russia, has been detained since 28 December. He faces up to 20 years in prison according to the security services, which indicate that a legal procedure has been opened.
This arrest comes as Russia is implicated by the West in several espionage cases.
Among them, the arrest last July Maria Butina, Washington. She is charged with “conspiracy” to “promote the interests of Russia”, for which she pleaded guilty. The Kremlin has called the accusations “unfounded”.
Putin open to dialogue with Donald Trump
Maria Butina faces a six-month prison sentence, followed by probable expulsion. According to American justice, the 30-year-old woman had made contacts in the American political apparatus via the main pro-arms lobby of the United States.
She is the first Russian to be convicted after one of several investigations into Moscow’s interferences with the 2016 US presidential campaign.
These cases have greatly deteriorated diplomatic relations between the two countries. However, in his wishes for the new year, the Russian president said he was open to dialogue with Donald Trump. According to him, Russian-US relations remain “an important factor in guaranteeing international security”.