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>> Russian says it has obtained an american citizen over alleged espionage activities and opened a criminal case against him. The latest twist in an increasingly tense relationship between Washington and Moscow. Jonathan Landay Russia claims that it has arrested an American spy. He is identified by Russian state run media as a Paul Whelan.
The State Department says that it has been informed by the Russians that an American has been arrested on espionage charges. And they are saying that, under international law, US consular officials in Moscow should have access to this individual.>> Russia's FSB state security service said the American was detained on December 28th.
Now, under Russian law, he could face a prison sentence between 10 and 20 years. Earlier this year the U.S. leveled its own accusations of spying against a Russian national that case resulting in a guilty plea for Maria
] in a deal with prosecutor Putina admitting earlier this month to working with a top Russian official to infiltrate American conservative activist groups as an agent for Moscow.
But, that's just one of several incidents that strained US Russia ties of late.>> Relations between the United States and Russia are in pretty bad shape. They have been deteriorating roughly since 2014 over Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. And there's just a host of other issues now that are really poisoning relations.
Be they dispute over nuclear arms control treaties. The US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and making things even worse. The ongoing investigation into Russian modelling or alleged Russian modelling in 2016. U.S. presidential elections.>> But Russia denies interfering in the election. President Donald Trump also denies colluding with Moscow.
On Sunday, Russian president Vladimir Putin wrote Trump a letter for the New Year saying he was ready for dialogue on a "wide ranging agenda".