The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has left in force the sentence passed on Valentin Moiseyev on charges of espionage in favour of South Korea. On Wednesday, it dismissed the lawyers' appeal for review and left unchanged the sentence of four and a half years of imprisonment which was passed on him earlier by the Moscow City Court. In December 1999 the former diplomat was sentenced by the Moscow City Court to twelve years of imprisonment, the minimum term under the article of High Treason in the Form of Espionage. In July 2000, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation disaffirmed the sentence and sent the case for a new court consideration. On August 14, 2001 the new composition of the Moscow City Court passed a softer sentence. However, the new composition of the court confirmed that Valentin Moiseyev was guilty of passing documents and materials, many of which contained state secrets, to the intelligence of South Korea (APNB). The fifty-two-year-old diplomat was detained on July 4, 1998 in his own flat after he had met with a South Korean career intelligence officer. Moiseyev was recruited during his business trip to that country in 1992-1994 and continued his cooperation with the South Korean intelligence residents in Moscow. The documents which he passed to the APNB from 1995 to 1997 include secret materials on military and technological cooperation between Russia and North Korea and political plans concerning the north of the Korean Peninsula. The court recognised as proved that Moiseyev had at least eighty secret meetings and sixty telephone conversations with official representative of the South Korean intelligence Cho Song Wu who was a counsellor in the Embassy of South Korea in Moscow. For his services the diplomat received at least 14,000 US dollars from the APNB.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia