A court in Russia has found a former Moscow policeman guilty of espionage for selling Russian state secrets to the CIA, according to a statement from the Russian Federal Security Services Thursday. The court sentenced Evgeny Chistov to 13 years in prison, while also noting that he had contacted the U.S intelligence agency on his own while betraying his country for cash.
“On Nov. 12, 2015, the Moscow Regional Court found Evgeny Chistov, a former Interior Ministry employee from the Moscow Region, guilty of state treason in the form of espionage. The court sentenced him to 13 years in a high-security prison,” read the statement, according to a report from the Russian news site Sputnik.
The court said that Chistov had been taking secrets from the country’s interior ministry and fully admitted guilt at trial. "He was recruited by the CIA and fulfilled its tasks, collecting and handing over information classified as state secrets for three years in exchange for material reward," the Russian Federal Security Services said in statement Thursday, according to a Reuters report.
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) November 12, 2015
The statement is reminiscent of Russia’s relationship with the U.S. before the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, when espionage and treason were a regular part of the huge spying networks between the two rivals. Both countries have taken on a more Cold War-era stance in lieu of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and its continued involvement in the War in Eastern Ukraine.
Adding to the tension, the U.S. and Russia have both entered into military campaigns in Syria. While both parties share a goal to eliminate the Islamic State group, they disagree on the fate of Syria’s authoritarian President Bashar Assad. Moscow wishes to keep him in power while Washington and its allies want to see him removed.