US citizen arrested in Russian on spying charges

US citizen arrested in Russian on spying charges

US citizen arrested in Russian on spying charges

Russia's Federal Security Service has detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan in Moscow on suspicion of espionage, the public relations center said on Monday.

If convicted of espionage, Whelan faces up to 20 years in jail.

The domestic security agency the detained individual as Paul Whelan.

The announcement comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow remained open to dialogue with Washington in a New Year's greeting to U.S. President Donald Trump.

No other details were immediately available and the USA embassy in Moscow has so far not commented.

According to BBC, the U.S. Department of State confirmed that Moscow notified them of the alleged arrest, but did not confirm the arrest or the man's name.

Relations between Russian Federation and the West have hit a new low following the incidents, with the United States and Europe hitting Moscow with waves of sanctions over the spy scandals and the conflict in Ukraine.

The arrest of the USA citizen comes as tensions between Washington and Moscow continue to escalate over a range of issues from election meddling to the crises in Syria and Ukraine. There has been no reaction yet from USA or Russian officials on the arrest.

According to Reuters, the man was allegedly arrested on December 28th, but neither the United States nor Russian Federation have commented on the nature of his alleged spying activity.

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