NEW YORK — Three Russian citizens were charged Monday in connection with a Cold War-style Russian spy ring that tried to recruit New York City residents as intelligence sources, authorities said.

The defendants were directed by Russian authorities “to gather intelligence on, among other subjects, potential United States sanctions against Russian banks and the United States’ efforts to develop alternative energy resources,” according to a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The case was announced Monday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and FBI officials.

The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service could not immediately be reached for comment on the case.

Prosecutors say one of the defendants, Yevgeny Buryakov, posed as an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank.

The others, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy, held low-level diplomatic positions.

Buryakov, who is in the U.S. on a work visa, was arrested Monday in the Bronx. The two other suspects are at large.

The names of their lawyers were not immediately available.

The three men “regularly met and communicated using clandestine methods and coded messages, in order to exchange intelligence-related information while shielding their associations with one another as (foreign intelligence) agents,” the complaint said.

The investigation was an offshoot of a 2010 case resulting in the arrest of 10 covert agents who infiltrated suburban America. All 10 pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to conspiracy charges and were ordered out of the country as part of a spy swap for four people convicted of betraying Moscow to the West.