French defense minister Florence Parly said Sunday that a senior military officer was under investigation for “serious security breaches”.
“What I can confirm is that a senior officer is facing legal proceedings for a security breach”, Parly said, adding that France’s armed forces have taken “necessary protective measures”.
The lieutenant-colonel was reportedly based at a NATO facility in Italy and was arrested in France. He had reportedly passed on “ultra-sensitive” information to Russian intelligence services.
The NATO alliance has been on alert since 2014, when Russia annexed parts of Ukraine. Western officials have also accused Russia of engaging in hybrid warfare.
In June, German chancellor Angela Merkel said there is hard evidence Russia was targeting her in the 2015 cyberattack on the German parliament, the Bundestag. She added that “cyber-disorientation, the distortion of facts” were all part of “Russia’s strategy”.