FSB Thwarted WMD Spies

The Federal Security Service said Friday that it had foiled several attempts by foreign spies to obtain technology for weapons of mass destruction, RIA-Novosti reported.

The FSB said Western and Asian spy services had tried to obtain information about nuclear enterprises in Siberia and from scientists working on secret high technology projects.

One Chinese citizen had been expelled and several other foreigners were refused further entry to the country for seeking information on weapons of mass destruction, the FSB head in the Novosibirsk region of Siberia said, the news agency reported.

"They were interested in the developments made by the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences," said Sergei Savchenkov, the local FSB chief.

Russian security services have frequently claimed to uncover foreign spying and planned attacks by rebels, but rarely give details on attempts to steal secret data on weapons of mass destruction.

"We discovered that foreign intelligence agencies from the West and Asia were interested in nuclear energy, biological information and cutting-edge scientific developments in the field of nanotechnology," he said, RIA nanotechnology.

Russia, which has the second biggest store of nuclear weapons in the world after the United States, says its weapons arsenals are carefully guarded.

Staff at the Novosibirsk office of the FSB were unable to confirm the RIA-Novosti report.