The lieutenant-colonel was reportedly based in a NATO facility in Italy and arrested while on holiday in his native France. He allegedly transmitted “ultra-sensitive” information to Russian intelligence.
Parly said the French armed forces had taken “the necessary protective measures” following the security breach.
The arrest comes a week after US authorities arrested a former special forces officer for sharing his unit’s activities with Russian intelligence.
According to prosecutors, the Green Beret soldier, who had been stationed in Germany and Azerbaijan, “thought the United States was too dominant in the world and should be downsized.”
The NATO alliance has been on high alert since 2014, when Russia stirred up unrest and annexed parts of Ukraine following an internationally condemned referendum. Western officials have also accused Russia of undermining global security by engaging in hybrid warfare.
Read more: Germany calls for EU sanctions against Russia
In June, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that a cyberattack on the Bundestag which resulted in the hijacking of sensitive information from the network was part of Russia’s “hybrid war strategy including cyber-disorientation and manipulation of facts “.
ls / dj (AFP, AP)