NEW YORK (AP) — A bank owned by Russia will pay the legal costs for a banker charged with participating in a Cold War-style Russian spy ring, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Attorney Scott Hershman made the revelation during a federal court appearance in New York for Evgeny Buryakov, 40, who was arrested in January. He has pleaded not guilty to an indictment accusing him and two other of conspiring to spy and acting as spies.

Prosecutors said the three men were seeking "economic intelligence" and information about alternative energy sources as Buryakov worked for the Manhattan branch of Vnesheconombank while living in the Bronx with his Russian wife and two children.

U.S. District 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.

The bank did not immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The two others charged in the case have immunity because of their diplomatic status and have returned to Russia.