US, Russia completed spy exchange: Justice Dept

9th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The United States and Russia have completed a spy swap in Vienna, the US Justice Department said in a statement Friday, confirming Moscow had released four people in exchange for 10 Russian agents.

"The United States has successfully transferred ten Russian agents to the Russian Federation and the Russian Federation has released four individuals who had been incarcerated in Russia," the department said.

"The exchange of these individuals took place in Vienna, Austria, and has been completed," it added.

The 10 Russian spies, rounded up in an FBI swoop last month, were expelled late Thursday after pleading guilty in court to acting as foreign agents, and were flown straight from New York to Vienna.

They then boarded a Russian emergencies ministry plane for Moscow, arriving earlier Friday, airport officials told AFP.

It was not immediately clear where the four people released by Russia -- who had been accused by Moscow of acting for Western intelligence agencies -- had been taken after arriving in Vienna Friday.

© 2010 AFP

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