U.S. citizen Paul Whelan arrested in Moscow on spying charges

Paul Whelan was arrested in Moscow over spying charges.

Russia’s domestic security agency has detained a United States citizen Paul Whelan on charges of espionage in Moscow.

The arrest of Whelan comes at a time when relations between the U.S. and Russia are becoming contentious.

Russian President Valadimir Putin recently sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, stating Russia-U.S. relations are the most important factor behind ensuring strategic stability and international security.

The investigative department of the Russian security agency initiated a criminal case against Whelan under article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on espionage.  

Whelan could be imprisoned up to 20 years for spying in Russia.

The security agency has offered no further details on the crimes it alleges Whelan has committed. 

Earlier this month President Donald Trump declined to meet the Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Argentina after Russian vessels opened fire on and seized Ukrainian ships. 

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow did not comment on the arrest of Paul Whelan.