US citizen arrested in Moscow on suspicion of spying

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Russia's FSB state security agency says it has arrested a USA citizen "caught spying" in Moscow. "The investigative department of the FSB of Russia against a U.S. citizen opened a criminal case under article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Espionage)". No details of the detention or Whelan's alleged espionage activities have yet been disclosed.

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A criminal investigation into espionage has been launched against the USA citizen.

The charges he faces could carry a prison term of as much as 20 years, according to Russia's criminal code. "We have requested this access and expect Russian authorities to provide it". In recent months the FSB has reported an increase of western-led espionage within Russian borders at a time when the country is also facing allegations of spying and interference in Europe and the US.

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The U.S. State Department said it knows about "the detention of a U.S. citizen by Russian authorities" but said it had not been given formal notification by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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