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ISLAMABAD, October 4 (Itar-Tass) — Russia is clearing up if there are its citizens among those who were arrested in the United States with regard to case on illegal microelectronic supplies, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“We are trying to study what has happened if there are really Russian citizens among 13 arrested people. Americans told us among 13 people were 10 Americans. And the rest of them could be origins from the Soviet Union,” Lavrov stressed on Thursday.
“We have no information in details. That is why now I don’t consider expedient to give any comments. I don’t see any link between this issue and the U.S. election campaign,” the Russian minister told journalists.
According to earlier reports, the U.S. FBI arrested Russian agents charged with transmitting U.S. military secrets to Russia. Alexander Fishenko was among 11 defendants named in a federal indictment filed in Brooklyn charging them with conspiring to purposely evade strict export controls for cutting-edge microelectronics. It also charges Fishenko with money laundering and operating inside the U.S. as an unregistered agent of the Russian government.
Fishenko, a naturalized US citizen and owner of Houston-based Arc Electronics Inc, and seven others were awaiting arraignment in Houston following raids there by the FBI.
The indictment alleges that since October 2008, the 46-year-old Fishenko and his co-defendants "engaged in a surreptitious and systematic conspiracy" to obtain the highly regulated technology from US makers and export them to Russia.
The U.S. authorities say the microelectronics could have a wide range of military uses, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems and detonation triggers. They also say the charges come amid a modernization campaign by Russian military officials hungry for the restricted, American-made components.