The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday January 5th the US had detained a Russian citizen a day after Moscow arrested the former US Marine Paul Whelan on suspicion of spying.
Whelan was taken into custody by Russia's Federal Security Service on December 28th, while the US detained Russian citizen Dmitry Makarenko on December 29th on the Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean, and had transferred him to Florida.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said that Makarenko, born in 1979, has arrived on Saipan Island with his wife, underage children and elderly parents, and was detained by FBI personnel at the airport right after his arrival.
Papers filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida show Makarenko was accused in June 2017 by federal prosecutors of conspiring with another man, Vladimir Nevidomy, to export defence articles including night-vision scopes from the U S to Russia without US approval.
The US Embassy in Moscow could not immediately be reached for comment. A State Department spokesman in Washington referred a request for comment to the Department of Justice, which did not immediately respond.