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US and Russia prepare for a 'spy swap'

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US and Russia prepare for a 'spy swap'


Convicted spy Igor Sutyagin could be on his way to the US according to unconfirmed reports, as Moscow and Washington prepare for a prisoner swap.

Sutyagin is a former nuclear expert and is currently serving a 15 year sentence in a Russian jail for allegedly passing on classified military information to the West.

It is something he denies and apparently does not want to leave Russia, but he is about to become part of an exchange deal with the ten Russian spy suspects arrested by the FBI last month.

US officials say a swap could allow the alleged Russian secret agents to plead guilty and then return home, including the so called ‘Mata Hari’ of the group, Anna Chapman.

Her mother, Irina Kushchenko has given an interview, denying her daughter is a spy.

“ She has not done anything bad but she has got her parents into trouble, caused problems for the people with whom she worked and for her friends, and she is suffering far more knowing this, than because of the situation she finds herself in right now.”

Chapman and her nine colleagues, who make up the suspected spy ring, are likely to be exchanged for people the US wants on a one to one basis. Analysts deny it is a return to the Cold War, saying it is more an example of inter-governmental cooperation.

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