Russian Federation detains American in Moscow suspected of espionage

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In a short statement, the agency notes Russia's Federal Security Service detained a USA citizen named Paul Whelan in Moscow on Friday. "The Russian Federal Security Service investigation department opened a criminal case against a U.S. citizen under article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (espionage)".

The domestic security agency the detained individual as Paul Whelan. No other details were immediately available.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the U.S. Embassy was duly notified about the arrest, but wouldn't give any further information.

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

Russian Federation has been entangled in multiple spy scandals in the West. She is likely to face up to six months in prison and then be deported to Russian Federation.

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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". "This is connected with the growth of Russia's power".

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