(CNN)Russia has detained a US citizen on suspicion of spying, according to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
American Paul Whelan was arrested December 28 in Moscow "while carrying out an act of espionage," the FSB said in a statement.
Investigation - Department - Federal - Security - Service
"The investigation department of the Federal Security Service of Russia initiated a criminal case against a US citizen under article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The investigation is underway," the statement continued. Article 276 is espionage.
If found guilty, Whelan faces 10 to 20 years imprisonment, Russia's state-run news agency TASS reported.
Russia - Ministry - Foreign - Affairs - United
The Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs "formally notified" the United States of the detention, a US State Department spokesman said.
"Russia's obligations under the Vienna Convention require them to provide consular access. We have requested this access and expect Russian authorities to provide it. Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time," said a statement from the State Department.
FSB - Successor - Agency - Soviet-era - KGB
The FSB, the successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, is Russia's domestic intelligence agency. The US government has sanctioned the FSB over cyber activities, and earlier this year, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on a firm controlled by the FSB for conducting cyberattacks against the United States.
The FSB, however, does have some longstanding cooperation with US intelligence on issues such as counterterrorism.
Year - US - Official - Knowledge
Earlier this year, a US official with direct knowledge of the...
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