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Russia arrested US citizens under suspicion of espionage

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Russia arrested US citizens under suspicion of espionage

The Russian authorities have arrested a US citizen suspected of espionage. The man had been arrested on Friday in a flash of „espionage“ in Moscow, said the Russian domestic intelligence service FSB today. A criminal case has been brought against the US citizen. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

The name of the man was called only in Russian. Translated from the Cyrillic alphabet, it could be Paul Whelan. Further details were the Russian intelligence initially not known.

Tense relationships

In the tense relations between Russia and the West, several espionage scandals have recently caused further upheaval, including the poisoning of ex-Russian agent Sergej Skripal in the UK and the sentencing of Russian woman Maria Butina for acting as agent in the United States.

Russia’s relations with the US have deteriorated since the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula in 2014. Since then, the US and many other Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia. In his New Year’s letter, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently offered US President Donald Trump a „far-reaching dialogue“.

Putin recently accused the West of wanting to undermine his country’s rise on the international scene by spying allegations. Putin saw it as a „sign of the power of Russia“ that the West repeatedly raised such allegations.