Report: Russia-US Spy Swap in The Works
It’s beginning to feel like the Cold War once again. Reports say the Russian government has set in motion preliminary actions that would lead to what could be the biggest spy swap between Russia and the United States since the Cold War ended in 1991.
A Russian convicted of working for the US government as a spy has reportedly been moved to Vienna, Austria, as part of a possible swap with the US, which recently arrested 10 suspected Russian spies. Russian arms control analyst Igor Sutyagin, who is serving 14 years on spying charges, reportedly told his family that he is one of 11 convicted spies who will be part of the spy swap.
The governments of Russia and the US have refused to comment on the reports.
Meanwhile, the ten alleged Russian spies are set to appear before a Federal Court judge in New York on Thursday, with the defendants’ lawyers saying they were hoping for a resolution of the case during the initial hearing. “There’s a good possibility that the case will be resolved at the initial court appearance tomorrow,” Robert Baum, lawyer for suspect Anna Chapman, said.
An intelligence analyst, Pavel Felgenhauer, said a spy swap is very likely, noting that both governments are keen on reaching a middle ground about the issue, which could affect the warming ties between the two former Cold War adversaries.