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26 Dec, 2023 04:02

West conducting ‘industrial espionage’ in Russia – minister

There is “an active hunt” on for the details of Moscow’s modernized weapon systems, the country's top trade official says
West conducting ‘industrial espionage’ in Russia – minister

Western countries are attempting to steal Moscow’s military technology and are targeting industry experts to do so, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov claimed on Monday.

During an interview with news agency RIA Novosti, Manturov was asked if there were instances of industrial espionage by “unfriendly countries” while Russia is ramping up defense production. 

“This has been the case at all times. It is occurring today and will occur tomorrow,” the minister said. 

“There is an active hunt not only for promising research, the data and parameters of our weapons, but also for our specialists who are especially valuable.” 

“It is not only the issue of espionage. I believe you’ve seen media reports that the FSB had prevented an attempt on the life of one of top managers of a defense company,” the minister said.

Russia’s main state security agency announced last week that its agents detained a Russian national who was tasked by “a Ukrainian terrorist organization” to assassinate a defense industry manager in the central part of the country. 

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said earlier this month that the country is undergoing “unprecedented” rearmament, as the production of tanks, drones and other weapons and ammunition has drastically increased since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine last year. 

According to Shoigu, the industry has modernized more than 100 types of weapons and military hardware. The weapons, which previously took years to develop and test, are now being introduced in the army in a matter of months, he said.