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6 Jun, 2024 12:58

Suspected French spy detained in Moscow (VIDEO)

The man is being held on suspicion of gathering military intelligence, the Investigative Committee has said
Suspected French spy detained in Moscow (VIDEO)

A French citizen has been detained in Moscow on suspicion of gathering military intelligence, Russia’s Investigative Committee has revealed.

In a post on social media on Thursday, the Committee said the suspect had collected information relating to Russia’s military and military-technical activities over several years.

“The information, if obtained by foreign sources, could be used against the security of the state,” read the statement posted on Telegram.

The suspect visited Russian territory, including Moscow, where he met with Russian citizens. He also failed to register as foreign agent, said the Committee. Criminal proceedings have been launched, it added.

Russian foreign agent law, first adopted in 2012 and expanded in 2022, requires anyone who receives support from abroad or is under the influence of entities from outside Russia to register and declare themselves as a foreign agent. The law does not ban such persons from operating in the country, but makes them subject to a range of restrictions. Those found in violation of the law can face fines of up to 5 million rubles ($55,000) and up to six years in prison.

France, a NATO member state, has been one of the most active supporters of Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility of NATO countries sending troops to Ukraine in the future, referring to non-combat personnel. Macron has described this as a policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Russia. 

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky is set to visit Paris this week “to discuss the situation on the ground” after a similar visit in mid-May.