A Russian scientist working at a German university has been accused of sharing sensitive information about the Arian European space rocket program with Moscow.
Prosecutors said Russian scientists working at a German university arrested for spying on Russia last year shared information about Europe’s Arian space rocket program.
A federal prosecutor said in a statement that the accused, identified only as Il Noor N, was charged with alleged Secret Service activities.
They claim that Il Noor N. was working at a university in Bavarian when contacted by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service SVR in the fall of 2019.
He “provided information on research projects in the field of aerospace technology, especially the various stages of development of the European launcher Arian,” they said.
The European Space Agency’s Ariane program consists of a series of transport rockets designed to carry heavy loads, including satellites, into space.
According to the prosecution, Il Noor N. has held a “regular meeting” with senior officers of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service stationed in Germany since late November 2019.
He allegedly received € 2,500 ($ 2,800) in cash in exchange for the information he shared. This information also included details about his scientific research at the unnamed University of Bavarian.
IlNoor N. was arrested last June on suspicion of spying on Moscow.
The prosecution said he worked as a research assistant in the university’s natural sciences department.
The incident occurs when tensions between Germany and Russia are rising, as the West is afraid that Moscow is planning an invasion of Ukraine.
Germany has recently seen a series of suspected Russian espionage incidents on its soil.
In October 2021, a German man employed by a security company was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence for handing over the parliamentary floor plan to a Russian secret service.
In August, a former employee of the British Embassy in Berlin was arrested on suspicion of handing over documents to Russian intelligence.
Germany has also repeatedly accused Russia of cyber espionage