A senior test engineer at a Russian missile testing station has been convicted of treason after selling missile systems test data to the CIA, the BBC reports.Lt-Col Vladimir Nesterets, who worked at the Plesetsk space station, has been jailed for 13 years in a high security prison and stripped of his military rank after pleading guilty to selling the classified information on intercontinental ballistic missiles for money, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced, according to RT.
The service’s statement did not say when Nesterets had been arrested or give anymore details about the case, the AP reports.
The Plesetsk Cosmodrome, located in the north of Russia, near the Arctic Circle, is used by the military for launching satellites into orbit and testing missiles. Its existence was denied until the early 1980s.
The Nesterets case is the latest in a series of setbacks for not only Russia’s missile programme — which has been hit by numerous design faults in recent years — but also for U.S.-Russian relations, despite President Obama’s pledge to “reset” them.
The conviction came just days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told an FSB meeting that foreign governments were stepping up their spying activities in the country. He also praised the FSB for exposing almost 200 foreign agents and spies in Russia last year.
Russia often discloses the arrest or conviction of foreign agents at a time of diplomatic tensions with the West, according to the AFP.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.