French National Arrested for Spying in Moscow

Update (0845 EST): The French citizen has reportedly been identified as 48-year-old Laurent Vinatier.

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has announced that a French national has been arrested in Moscow under suspicion of spying on Russian military activities. The announcement reads below:

“A citizen of the French Republic was detained in Moscow, suspected of collecting information in the field of military activities of the Russian Federation… on the grounds of a crime under Part. 3 tbsp. 330.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. According to the investigation, for several years the person involved… purposefully collected information in the field of military and military-technical activities of the Russian Federation. This information, when obtained by foreign sources, can be used against the security of the state. For these purposes, he repeatedly visited the territory of Russia, including the city of Moscow, where he held meetings with citizens of the Russian Federation.”

This comes only one day after a Russian-Ukrainian man was arrested in connection to an explosion in Paris. These incidents are backdropped by the deteriorating French-Russian relations as President Macron has publicly announced French troops may be stationed in Ukraine, with President Putin saying Russia has the right to target them.

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