Russia has sentenced one of its agents to 20 years in prison for turning over top state secrets to China.
Ming Pao Daily in Hong Kong reported Wednesday a Russian district court in the Zabaikal region has charged the agent, a high-ranking official in Russia’s Federal Security Service, with transferring confidential information to counterparts in China.
Zabaikal is a Russian region facing the landlocked Inner Mongolia area of China.
The agent, who remained unidentified, was charged with treason along with his associates, according to Ming Pao and Russian news media.
Russian authorities said in statement the agent used a flash drive to transfer the confidential information to Chinese contacts at Beijing’s ministry of state security.
The agent received about $30,000 in compensation from Chinese contacts, according to Russian reports.
The spy had served in senior positions in the FSB in Siberia between 2006 and 2008 and had access to highly classified information.
The information he had access to included reports on all action plans of Russia’s state security service.
The case marks the first time a Russian security agent has committed treason in order to provide China with top-secret information, according to Ming Pao.
The trial took place during Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang’s visit to Russia on Sept. 6, when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok, Russia.
By Elizabeth Shim