The Russian authorities are taking action against a Russian-born US citizen on "suspicion of espionage". The Lefortovo court announced the new allegations against the businessman, who has already been sentenced to prison for bribery, according to Russian state media on Thursday. Information about the exact nature of the allegations is not yet known.
According to media reports, the man was born in Russia, but later moved to the United States and took up US citizenship there. In September 2022, the company manager was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in Moscow after allegations of bribery. According to official information, those close to former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich were also involved in the case.
In recent years, multiple arrests of US citizens in Russia have caused a stir and strained relations between the two countries, in some cases even before the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine began. The American Paul Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2020 on allegations of espionage. In 2022, basketball player Brittney Griner was arrested and accused of illegal drug possession - she was later exchanged for the Russian arms dealer Viktor But, who was imprisoned in the USA.
In March of this year, the Russian secret service FSB arrested the "Wall Street Journal" reporter Evan Gershkovich - also on alleged espionage. Solid evidence of such espionage allegations has never been provided by Russian authorities.
US special envoy for hostage situations, Roger Carstens, promised in April to bring Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich home. At the same time, the US government has repeatedly called on its citizens to leave Russia since 2022.