The head of a Russian rocket and space technology company has been arrested on espionage charges and accused of delivering sensitive technology to China in violation of state export controls, the Federal Security Service said Monday.
Igor Reshetin, director of TsNIIMASH-Export, is charged with the illegal transfer of state-controlled technology to a Chinese company, according to the press service of the Federal Security Service, or FSB.
Mr. Reshetin is also charged with stealing 30 million rubles ($1-million U.S.) through a scheme involving fake companies and falsified documents, and two of his deputies are charged in connection with the alleged theft.
TSNIIMASH-Export is based outside Moscow in the town of Korolyov - a space industry centre that is home to the mission control facility for Russian space flights.
The FSB identified the Chinese entity to which Mr. Reshetin allegedly delivered the technology in violation of state controls as TOCHMA, which it said was an export-import corporation. It did not say what the technology was.
Russia sold China the technology that formed the basis of its manned space program, which launched a two-man crew last month on its second successful orbital mission. China has become the biggest foreign customer for Russia's weapons industry, the AP reports.
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign