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Moscow Demands Release of Russian Woman Accused of Spying in Denmark

Russia's Foreign Ministry building in Moscow. Alexander Shcherbak / TASS

Moscow has called for the immediate release of a Russian woman arrested in Denmark on suspicion of espionage, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday, accusing Copenhagen of "persecution."

Danish authorities announced Tuesday that a Russian citizen had been arrested on suspicion of "enabling a foreign intelligence service to operate in Denmark." They did not reveal the woman's identity.

The Russian embassy in Copenhagen "demanded from the Danish authorities the immediate release of our fellow countrywoman," Zakharova said in a statement.

She added that Copenhagen had provided "no evidence" of the woman's "unlawful activity" and said Russians and those with pro-Russia views are "subjected to reprisals" in Denmark.

The unidentified woman's detention comes as several other Western countries have recently arrested Russian citizens on suspicion of espionage.

Danish intelligence services said the Russian woman was expected to be released after questioning, but added that "the case is still under investigation." They added that the case concerned media reports about a Russian sovereign wealth fund.

Danish public broadcaster DR and other European media outlets recently published reports about the Russian fund Pravfond, which was set up by Russian authorities and is suspected of funding disinformation projects.

Zakharova said the fund and other pro-Russia groups abroad are operating "in conditions of unprecedented pressure and sometimes persecution from Western authorities, including Denmark."

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