Russian citizen charged with espionage in Denmark, Moscow cries foul

FILE PHOTO: Denmark's national flag flutters in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 22, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Mortensen/File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Russian citizen in Denmark has been charged with espionage for providing information about Danish energy technology to Russia, Danish authorities said on Wednesday, prompting a strongly-worded response from Moscow.

The Russian, whose name, age and gender was not released, is suspected of providing “information about, among other things, Danish energy technology to a Russian intelligence service” for payment, the Danish prosecution service said in a statement.

The Russian embassy in Copenhagen said it considered the actions by the Danish prosecutor “a mistake” and called for impartiality in the justice process.

It said it hoped “our compatriot” would be acquitted in court and freed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement characterising the arrest and investigation as “anti-Russian hysteria on the part of Copenhagen.

“Such groundless accusations resemble a witch-hunt,” it said.

The ministry added that it hoped “justice ... will prevail”.

The case is connected to a larger investigation conducted by the Danish Security and Intelligence Service.

The district court of Aalborg will handle the case but has yet to set a date for the proceedings, the prosecution service said, adding that the Russian, who has been in custody since early July, faced possible imprisonment and deportation.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard in Copenhagen and Tom Balmforth in Moscow; additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Alex Richardson and Timothy Heritage