Eleven suspects have been charged for allegedly carrying out espionage operations in the United States on behalf of Russia, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement on Monday.
"In total, 11 defendants, including the 10 arrested, are charged in two separate criminal complaints with conspiring to act as unlawful agents of the Russian Federation within the United States," the statement said.
Eight suspects were arrested on Sunday as allegedly being deep cover Russian agents in the United States.
Two other suspects were arrested for allegedly participating in the same Russian intelligence operation, while one of the suspects remains at large.
According to the statement, charges are filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The charge of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The U.S. authorities said the case was "the result of a multi-year investigation conducted by the FBI."
The announcement came only a few days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to the United States and may cast a shadow on the bilateral relations that have improved in the past year.
WASHINGTON, June 29 (RIA Novosti)