MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Tuesday it had detained a serviceman and his brother in the country’s west for having allegedly passed state secrets to Estonia.
A criminal case has been opened for high treason, the FSB said.
The serviceman was detained in front of an apartment building in Smolensk, a city 365km west of Moscow, by three masked officers in military fatigues and dragged into a black van, FSB footage carried by Russian news agency TASS showed.
The FSB did not provide details of any information it had passed on to Estonian authorities.
“There hasn’t been any official correspondence with Russia on that issue,” Estonia’s Foreign Ministry said in an emailed statement.
The FSB added that the serviceman’s brother, a permanent resident of Estonia, had also been detained in Pskov, a Russian city located about 30km from the border with Estonia.
Separate footage released by the FSB showed officers pinning a man in civilian clothing to the ground, handcuffing him and taking him away in a van.
If convicted, the men could face up to 20 years in jail.
In a similar case in August, a Russian serviceman from the Strategic Missile Forces was detained in Siberia for having allegedly passed state secrets to Ukraine.
Russia’s relations with the Baltic states, European Union members since 2004, remain strained over issues ranging for their occupation by the Soviet Union to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, additional reporting by Andrius Sytas, Editing by Ed Osmond
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