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Russia's Vnesheconombank To Back Suspect In Spy Case

A bank owned by Russia will pay the legal costs for a banker charged with participating in a Cold War-style Russian spy ring, his lawyer said May 12.

White & Case attorney Scott Hershman made the revelation during a federal court appearance in New York for Evgeny Buryakov, 40, who was arrested in January.

Buryakov has pleaded not guilty to an indictment accusing him and two others of conspiring to spy and acting as spies.

Prosecutors said the three men were seeking "economic intelligence" and information about alternative energy sources as Buryakov worked for the Manhattan branch of Vnesheconombank.

A court hearing is scheduled to determine if a conflict exists because the state-owned Russian bank is funding Buryakov's defense.

The two others charged in the case have immunity because of their diplomatic status and have returned to Russia.

Konstantin Dolgov, a Russian envoy, called the charges "ungrounded" and said "we will continue to take efforts to protect his legal rights and interests."

Based on reporting by AP and TASS