Russia opens criminal case against US citizen accused of espionage

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Thursday that it had opened a criminal case against a United States citizen accused of suspected espionage.

“The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation has opened a criminal case against a U.S. citizen on the grounds of a crime under Article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – ‘Espionage’,” the FSB said in a statement, without naming the suspect nor details about him.

“The American is suspected of collecting intelligence on biological topics directed against the security of the Russian Federation,” the FSB said.

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The U.S. State Department in a statement on the allegations, said it was aware of the “unconfirmed reports” that Russia has opened a criminal case against a U.S. citizen on suspicion of espionage.

“We’re looking into this matter and we’ll continue to monitor,” State Department deputy spokesperson, Vedant Patel, said while taking questions from reporters on Thursday.

Patel added Russia does not generally abide by obligations to provide timely notification of the detention of U.S. citizens in Russia.

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