American detained on spy charges in Moscow

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference after the US-Canada ministerial meeting at the State Department in Washington US

Russia's FSB state security agency says it has arrested a U.S. citizen "caught spying" in Moscow.

The FSB said the American had been detained "while carrying out an act of espionage" on 28 December and that a criminal case had been opened.

By Russian law, foreigners found guilty of spying on Russia face between 10 and 20 years in prison.

"Russia's obligations under the Vienna Convention require them to provide consular access", the State Department said.

The State Department could not be immediately reached for comment.




Relations between the United States and Russia remain strained over a raft of issues including Russia's role in wars in Syria and eastern Ukraine, its alleged meddling in elections in the United States and elsewhere, and the poisoning of a Russian double agent in Britain.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow on Friday.

Earlier this month, Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina pleaded guilty to conspiring with a senior Russian official to infiltrate USA conservatives.

Russian Federation has been entangled in multiple spy scandals in the West. There has been no reaction yet from US or Russian officials on the arrest.

In his annual press conference this month, Putin said Western pressure was aimed at restraining a resurgent Russian Federation.

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