MIAMI – Russian security services have detained a London-based executive of Aeroflot (SU) on suspicion of passing state secrets to Britain, Reuters reports today.
The TASS and RIA news agencies named the executive on Thursday as Dmitry Fedotkin and said he denied any wrongdoing. Fedotkin’s profile on LinkedIn says he has been SU’s station manager in Britain for the last five years. He was the airline’s UK country manager for almost three years before that.
According to Reuters, Fedotkin passed secrets pertaining to Russia’s social and political situation to Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service. However, Fedotkin but did not have access to state secrets linked to the aviation industry. SU said it did not have any information about the case. The British embassy in Moscow referred questions to Russian authorities.
Records from Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court show it opened a state treason case against an individual named D.A. Fedotkin on Wednesday. If convicted of high treason, he could face up to 20 years in jail.
Relations between London and Moscow sank to a post-Cold War low over the 2018 poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence operative who betrayed Russian agents to MI6.
Russia periodically detains soldiers, scientists, and state employees on suspicion of passing state secrets to foreign countries. The Federal Security Service (FSB) last month detained a serviceman and his brother in western Russia for having allegedly passed state secrets to Estonia.
Featured image: Francesco Romeo Cecchetti/Airways