Russia Detains American Suspected of Espionage

Whelan family shows Paul Whelan in Iceland. The former U.S. Marine was arrested in Russia on espionage charges

The FSB, which said the American had been detained on December 28, added that a criminal case had been opened against him.

A United States citizen has been arrested in Moscow on suspicion of espionage, Russia's Federal Security Service announced Monday.

The article, according to which a criminal case was initiated, provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 10 to 20 years.

The statement, issued in Russian, identified the American using a name that appeared to translate as Paul Whelan. No other details were given. Butina said in court that she'd been operating as a Kremlin agent as she befriended National Rifle Association leaders and influential USA conservatives.

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In the past, Russian Federation has arrested foreigners with the aim of trading prisoners with other countries. She is likely to face up to six months in prison and then be deported to Russian Federation.

Russian military intelligence agents were also accused in the poisoning earlier this year of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England.

In his annual year-end news conference on December 20, Putin said Russian Federation would "not arrest innocent people simply to exchange them for someone else later on".

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