The French defence minister says a Russian spy satellite got close to a Franco-Italian satellite last year and tried to intercept its transmissions, reports the BBC.
"It's called an act of espionage," Florence Parly said, calling the Russian satellite a Luch-Olymp.
France acted to keep the Athena-Fidus satellite's communications safe, she said. It enables the French and Italian armies to exchange secret intelligence.
The US said a Luch had come close to two US Intelsat satellites in 2015.
The US space command contacted Russia about the Luch satellite's unusual manoeuvres.
Ms Parly said France was still monitoring the Luch-Olymp "and we noted that it continued to move actively in the following months close to other targets".