A Russian scientist whose laboratory has had extensive contacts with the West has been charged with divulging state secrets, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday.
The accused is Oleg Korobeynichev, who works for an institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Siberia specialising in chemical reactions, the agency said. Investigators offered no details on the case because the matter is classified.
"Charges have been brought," Sergey Savchenkov, the head of the Novosibirsk department of the Federal Security Service or FSB.
The intelligence service declined to comment on the charges when contacted by The Associated Press.
Korobeynichev's lab has worked with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Cornell University and the Leuven Catholic University in Belgium, according to the Web site of the Novosibirsk State University, which has close ties to his institute.
The scientist is one of several Russian scholars and journalists targeted for alleged espionage by FSB, the main successor to the KGB.
Rights advocates say the security agency has been emboldened in its efforts to discourage Russians' unsupervised contacts with foreigners since Vladimir Putin, a 16-year KGB veteran and one-time FSB head, became president in 2000, reports AP.
The head of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky.