By Tom Kingsbury | Political Editor
A senior French military officer is under investigation, for a “breach of security”, suspected of passing sensitive information to Russian intelligence.
The officer, a lieutenant-colonel, was arrested by the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI), France’s counter-espionage agency. The charges involve “intelligence with a foreign power that undermines the fundamental interests of the nation.”
Media reports that the French military officer was stationed with Nato in Italy, and the officer has family links to Russia and speaks the language fluently. It has also been reported that the officer was seen in Italy with a man identified as a GRU (Russian military intelligence) agent.
The news follows a number of recent incidents of alleged and reported Kremlin action, including the alleged poisoning of vocal Putin critic Alexei Navalny and reported Russian support of the Belarusian Lukashenko government.
It also comes after the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee’s long-awaited report on Russia was published, stating that Russia poses “an all encompassing security threat”, and after the US head of counterintelligence warned that Russia poses a threat to the integrity of the US’ November election.
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