Russia reveals detention of US ‘spy’ a day after Putin sends goodwill message to Trump
Moscow, Dec 31: Just a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a New Year message to his US counterpart Donald Trump expressing the Kremlin's eagerness to engage in talks with the US, Russia's public relations centre said on Monday, December 31, that the country's Federal Security Service has detained an American citizen Paul Whelan in Moscow on the charges of espionage, Russia's state TASS news agency reported.
The detention took place on Friday, December 28.
"On December 28, 2018 staff members of the Russian Federal Security Service detained US citizen Paul Whelan in Moscow while on a spy mission," the center informed.
It was also reported that a criminal investigation has been launched against the American citizen and he will be jailed between 10 to 20 years if found guilty.
The US Embassy in Moscow made no immediate response on the matter.
The detention of the US citizen showed despite the goodwill messages, the relation of the two countries continue to be tense and events like Ukrainian crisis, Syrian war and the charges of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election in the US have made matters even worse.