Russian spy Chapman working for space agency bank

11th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Russian bank linked with the country's famed space programme confirmed Monday that it had hired glamorous Russian spy Anna Chapman to work as an advisor to its president.

The auburn-haired Chapman caused a stir last week when she unexpectedly showed up for the launch of a Soyuz rocket carrying three astronauts at Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

In a statement, FundServiceBank, an authorised bank of Russian space agency Roskosmos, confirmed Chapman was an employee and had attended the launch as part of her duties.

"Anna Vasilyevna Chapman does in fact work for FundServiceBank since October 1 as an advisor to the bank's president on issues of investment and innovation," the bank said, noting that it had released the statement following "numerous inquiries" from local and foreign media regarding Chapman's presence at the launch.

It said Chapman would be working on developing the bank's "information technologies" and described her as a "creative and multi-faceted employee who truly cares about Russia's destiny."

The bank also revealed that Chapman was working on a book about "the new possibilities of Internet resources."

Chapman was at the centre of the biggest spy crisis between the United States and Russia since the Cold War as one of the US-based "sleeper" agents who in July were exchanged in a dramatic spy swap.

Since her arrival back in Moscow she has posed in cocktail dresses for a weekly magazine and appeared at a party at a nightclub, but has not given any interviews about her experience.

Roskosmos denied the agency was involved in Chapman's visit to the launch, saying she had attended as a "private individual" and noting that she had not met with any members of the Soyuz crew.

© 2010 AFP

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