US - Russia

List of Russian convicts emerges in possible spy swap, reports say

Photo: Reuters

A list has been released of Russians convicted of spying who could form part of an exchange deal for the members of an alleged Russian spy ring in the United States, the Kommersant daily newspaper said on Thursday.

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The report indicated that Russian convicts including former members of the Russian security services could be part of a swap. It includes Sergei Skripal, a former colonel, who was sentenced to 13 years in jail for spying for Britain.

Russian security service sources were cited inKommersant, which also named Alexander Zaporozhsky who received an 18-year sentence for espionage in 2003, as a possible candidate.

Authorities in Russia neither confirmed nor denied the report, although quotes attributed to Ernst Cherny, the head of the committee for protection of researchers who claimed to have seen the list, indicate that it had been transferred to Russia via diplomatic channels from the US.

The US arrested 10 alleged Russian agents on 29 June in a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operation. Another suspect, Christopher Metsos, was arrested the next day in Cyprus, but then disappeared.

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