On June 19, Moscow’s Lefortovsky Court sanctioned the arrest of Karina Tsurkan suspected of espionage, the state-run news agency TASS reported.
A spokesperson for the court said that Tsurkan will be detained until at least August 13, while investigators build their case, the details of which have been classified. The spokesperson described Tsurkan as a female foreign national because it allegedly has a Moldovan citizenship.
Tsurkan is accused of espionage. She may face up to 20 years behind bars.
Since 2012, the suspect has served on the executive board of Russia’s energy giant “Inter RAO”. Before joining the board, Tsurkan managed the energy comnapy’s geographical divisions in Europe, Moldova, Ukraine and Romania.
According to Russian newspaper Kommersant, Tsurkan is suspected of working with persons allegedly connected to Romanian intelligence. Kommersant also said that security forces had searched offices of high-ranking officials in the Russian Energy Ministry. This move is allegedly linked to the investigation into Tsurkan.
Inter RAO is a Russian energy holding company involved in projects in power and heat generation, electricity supply, international energy trading, engineering, design and development of electric power infrastructure. It also controls several thermaland hydro power plants, grid operators and energy traders outside Russia. Thus, Tsurkan has had an access to a key data on the Russian energy security.