A defense lawyer says a bank owned by Russia will pay the legal costs for a banker charged with participating in a Cold War-style Russian spy ring.

Attorney Scott Hershman made the revelation Tuesday during a federal court appearance in New York for Evgeny Buryakov (YEHV'-geh-nee BUHR'-yah-kohv). Buryakov has pleaded not guilty to an indictment accusing him and two others of conspiring to spy and acting as spies.

He was arrested in January. Prosecutors say he worked for the Manhattan branch of Vnesheconombank while living in the Bronx with his Russian wife and two children. They say the three men were seeking "economic intelligence" and information about alternative energy sources.

Judge Richard Berman scheduled a May 18 hearing to determine if a conflict exists because a state-owned Russian bank is funding Buryakov's defense.