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Ukrainian Arrested on Suspicion of Industrial Espionage in Russia

Russian authorities have arrested a Ukrainian citizen suspected of illegally acquiring industrial secrets that could have caused hundreds of millions of rubles in damage, state news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

The suspect was working as a representative of a Ukrainian company that builds metallurgical equipment when he sought to acquire machinery blueprints from businesses around Russia's fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg, the report said.

"The foreigner was establishing contacts with Russian enterprises' employees with the intent to set up a long-term channel for obtaining documents in exchange for money," the Federal Security Service (FSB), a successor agency of the Soviet KGB, was quoted as saying in a statement.

The news report said the suspect worked for the company UkrRosMetall and was detained late last month as he received an initial package of materials for the production of high-tech machinery. Russian authorities have charged him with unlawfully acquiring an industrial secret.

He has reportedly pleaded guilty, and a court has sanctioned his pretrial arrest. The LifeNews tabloid, which reportedly has connections with law enforcement agencies, identified the suspect as Sergei Skirta, 34, from the central Ukrainian region of Poltava.

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