MOSCOW - Russia has jailed two university professors for passing top secret information on Moscow's next generation nuclear missile system to China, sentencing each of them to at least 12 years in jail, local media reported on Wednesday.

Russian investigators said the two professors - who worked at a St Petersburg university - had traveled to China in 2009 "where they gave classified information to representatives of Chinese military intelligence for money," state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The information they are said to have divulged included the specifications of Russia's Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile, which after a series of troubled tests is meant to become the cornerstone of the country's nuclear arsenal.

Investigators said that Chinese intelligence officials had also asked for information about other nuclear missile systems such as the Topol-M and the Iskander, Interfax reported.

The two professors, named as Yevgeny Afanasyev and Svyatoslav Bobyshev, were arrested in 2010 and pleaded not guilty to the charges, but a Russian court did not believe them.

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