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Russian authorities have reportedly charged a resident of Primorsky Krai in the country’s far east on suspicion of collecting information about Russia’s nuclear weapons. According to media reports in Russia, the man, identified only as “Lukin” was recruited back in 2013 while living in the city of Heihe, on the China-Russia border.
Baza, an independent Russian news agency, wrote on Telegram: “Russian investigators believe the man was recruited by Chinese intelligence
“According to investigators, in 2013 a man named Lukin arrived in the city of Heihe.
“There he was recruited by the Chinese special services. According to investigators, after 7 years, Lukin brought to China his acquaintance by the name of Yatsenko, who had limited information on military topics and handed it over to China.”
Russian authorities are said to have opened the criminal case against “Lukin” on February 13.
Russian investigators believe “Lukin” carried out spying for China’s foreign intelligence services from January to June 2022.
He is reported to have been passing along state secrets related to Russia’s nuclear weapon programme.
The incident comes at a high point in Russian-Chinese ties with Xi Jinping returning home after a state visit to Russia.
China on Wednesday said President Xi Jinping’s just-concluded visit to Russia was a “journey of friendship, cooperation and peace,” and again criticized Washington for providing military support to Ukraine.
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The trip that ended Wednesday signalled no new progress in ending the bloody conflict between Russia and Ukraine, while shoring up President Vladimir Putin’s standing amid growing efforts to isolate him and his government internationally.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reiterated China’s claims that it remains neutral in the conflict. He said it had “no selfish motives on the Ukraine issue, has not stood idly by … or taken the opportunity to profit itself.
“What China has done boils down to one word, that is, to promote peace talks,” Wang said at a daily briefing.
Wang also accused the US of lacking impartiality and of “fanning the flames” of the conflict by providing defensive weapons to Ukraine to Washington’s own benefit.
The US, NATO and partner nations have openly supported Kyiv since the start of the conflict, and China is widely seen as providing economic backing for Putin’s regime while avoiding being directly involved.
“President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia is a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace, which has aroused positive responses in the international community,” Wang said.
China would “continue to play a constructive role in promoting a political settlement of the Ukrainian issue,” Wang said, an apparent reference to a 12-point peace proposal put forward by Beijing that calls for a cease-fire and negotiations.
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