Colonel jailed for selling missile secrets to CIA


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The Independent Online

A Russian military officer was jailed for 13 years yesterday after he was convicted of treason for passing missile secrets to the CIA.

Lt-Col Vladimir Nesterets was stripped of his rank after he pleaded guilty to passing classified information about missile tests to the CIA for money, said the Federal Security Service, the agency that replaced the KGB.

Nesterets worked as a senior engineer at the Plesetsk launch pad in north-western Russia, a facility used by the military to launch satellites and test missiles.

The conviction comes amid growing tension in US-Russian relations, despite President Barack Obama's efforts to "reset" them after issues developed during the previous US administration.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have worsened recently over a new US-led missile defence system being developed by Nato in Europe. There was another setback when Russia decided to join China to block a UN Security Council resolution that would have urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.