AN OFFICER of the General Staff of Slovakia’s Armed Forces is suspected of engaging in espionage for Russia, private network TV Markíza reported in its primetime newscast on April 17.

The television network cited an anonymous source who said that the suspicion falls on a major who works at the General Staff’s department for international cooperation. He reportedly came into regular contact with confidential information, including decisions and strategies of the European Union and NATO, before passing it on to Russian officials. The purported spy is said to have ramped up his efforts recently amid the Ukrainian crisis.

According to TV Markíza, the man was monitored closely by Slovakia’s military counter-intelligence for two years. Counter-intelligence officers reportedly seized the man’s internal documents as well as a laptop assigned to him by the General Staff recently.

The Defence Ministry responded that the ministry’s services monitor all security threats that “might threaten or violate country’s defence”.

The man, identified as Oto Ch. by the Sme daily, is currently prosecuted at large. If found guilty of espionage, he could spend up to 15 years in prison.

The issue is to be discussed by a parliamentary defence and security committee. Martin Fedor, MP for the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and chair of the committee, said that he sent a request to Defence Minister Martin Glváč to send a report on the issue to the committee, TV Markíza reported.