Russian security agencies on Tuesday arrested a top official of its space agency accusing him of treason.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Ivan Safronov, advisor to the director-general of the Russian State Corporation for Space Activities (Roscosmos).

“Ivan Safronov, was detained in Moscow while passing on state secrets related to military-technical cooperation, defense and security of Russia to one of NATO intelligence service, “the FSB said in a statement.

Ivan Safronov was posted as an information advisor in Roscosmos in May.

Earlier he had worked as a reporter in Russian newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti. He had specialized in covering the defense and space industry.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the arrest was not connected to Safronov’s journalistic activities.

“We know that the Federal Security Service has already made a statement, and he [Safronov] is charged under on state treason, the transfer of secret data to foreign intelligence services, this is stated in a published statement,” he said.

“As far as we are aware, this detention is in no way connected with the journalistic activity that Ivan Safronov was previously engaged in”, he added.

Roscosmos in a statement also said the arrest was not related to Safronov’s current work.

In 2019 Kommersant was sued for publishing his report on the delivery of Russian Su-35 fighter jet to Egypt, which was considered a state secret.

In 2007 Safronov’s father died in Moscow under ambiguous circumstances. He was working as a military analyst in Kommersant.

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