MOSCOW, December 19 (RAPSI) - Russian national Roman Kvinikadze pleaded guilty this week to having violated federal US law in connection with the export of thermal imaging weapons sights, according to court documents obtained by RAPSI.

Kvinikadze was indicted by a federal grand jury in July on counts of violating and conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act, which deals with the import and export of weapons and defense articles and services.

The indictment asserts that between December 2012 and July 2013 – when the indictment was issued – Kvinikadze knowingly and willfully attempted to export from the US to Russia “American Technologies Network Corporation Thor Thermal Imaging Weapons Sights… which items are included on the U.S. Munitions List; without first obtaining the required license or written approval from the State Department.”

In September, Kvinikadze pleaded not guilty to both counts of the indictment. However, in documents filed Tuesday, Kvinikadze moved to change his plea. He entered a plea of guilty to the violation count. The form notes that the conspiracy count will be dismissed at the time of sentencing.

A sentencing hearing is set to take place on February 25.

In setting out the claims against him, the indictment notes that in December 2012, Kvinikadze emailed an undercover Homeland Security Investigations agent to initiate negotiations for the purchase of thermal imaging weapons sights.

Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's (MFA) Special Representative for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website in November that Kvinikadze could have been lured into a trap: “As far as we are aware, Kvinikadze was deliberately provoked to violate the law, leading to his arrest – enticed by the US under the pretext of a deal.”