A french military officer, reported to-be a lieutenant-colonel seconded to nato accused of moving key documents to a russian agent, happens to be arrested on suspicion of spying for an international energy, french defence minister florence parly said on sunday.

The news was initially reported by european countries 1 radio, which stated the officer was in fact stationed at a nato base in italy and arrested for moving material to a representative of gru, russias military-intelligence service. he was detained in paris on august 21 just before going back to work from vacation in france.

I could concur that a senior officer is dealing with a judicial procedure started by the defence ministry, ms parly said. weve taken all essential measures. now the justice system need to do its work under normal principles of privacy...its around all of them to state what he's guilty of incase he could be accountable.

The arrest ended up being straight away likened by french media to eventsin the fictional show about the french additional secret-service called le bureau des lgendes. understood in english while the bureau, it portrays the intelligence work of agents and dual agents concerning the center east also russia and us.

The unnamed officer had been arrested for spying for an international energy and damaging the fundamental passions of france, relating to judicial resources quoted by afp.

A spying scandal concerning russia would come at an awkward time for french president emmanuel macron, who has got courted his russian counterpart vladimir putin for over a-year and desired to fix the eus frayed relations with moscow on grounds that russia is a vital force in geopolitics that must definitely be engaged in the place of ostracised.

Mr macron and his advisers, who accused russia of interfering inside election that won him the presidency in 2017, say obtained no illusions about moscows often malign intentions but need certainly to negotiate with him to help fix crises from belarus and ukraine to iran, syria and libya.

Last week, both mr macron and german chancellor angela merkel warned mr putin against military input in belarus to aid president alexander lukashenko crush the pro-democracy demonstrations that have shaken his regime after a rigged election.

The french army officer ended up being arrested by the french domestic protection service the dgsi and was being detained on sant jail in paris, europe 1 said.

Under mr putin, a former kgb officer and mind of their successor the fsb, russias intelligence services are active home and overseas lately and many years.

British authorities have actually recharged alexander petrov and ruslan boshirov, two senior officials from the gru, with all the attempted murder of previous russian cleverness officer sergei skripal and his child yulia in salisbury in the united kingdomt in 2018. they are changed with the murder of dawn sturgess, whom passed away when she came into connection with the novichok nerve broker utilized against the skripals.

There is no immediate touch upon the french officials spying situation from nato headquarters in brussels.