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Alleged Ukrainian industrial spy to remain in Russian custody until at least April 20

March 25, 2015, 12:09 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG

Russia’s investigators could ask the court to extend the custody for the Ukrainian national

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© Screenshot TASS

YEKATERINBURG, March 25. /TASS/. The Ukrainian citizen, detained in Russia’s Urals on suspicion of hunting for industrial secrets, is to remain in custody until at least April 20, the press service of the Federal Security Service (FSB) department in the Sverdlovsk region said on Wednesday.

"The defendant has been taken into custody for two months under a court ruling," the FSB said.

Russia’s investigators could ask the court to extend the custody for the Ukrainian national.

Sergey Skirta was caught red-handed in February as he received the first package of engineering materials on the production of high-tech energy equipment, the FSB officials said.

Skirta is now accused of "illegally receiving and disclosing information that contains commercial, tax or banking secrets." The Ukrainian has confessed to having committed the illegal activity, the FSB press service said.

Investigators suspect that Skirta was gathering the scientific and technical information on the work of the Russian machine-building enterprises and in particular the Ural Turbomechanical Plant.

The transfer of the documents to the foreign side could have caused damage worth hundreds of millions of rubles, the Russian manufacturer said.

Skrita said he works for the Ukrainian-Belarusian enterprise Ukrtekhnosintez, part of Ukrrosmetall concern. The enterprise however has rejected the Ukrainian citizen’s claims.

Ukraine’s Consulate General in Yekaterinburg is providing assistance to the Ukrainian national and keeps the situation under control, Consul General Vladimir Bondarenko said on Tuesday.

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