UK

Spy swap Russian wants to leave UK and return home

Igor Sutyagin (2004 picture)
Image caption Mr Sutyagin, who served 11 years in prison, has always maintained his innocence

A Russian nuclear expert freed from prison and sent to the UK in a spy swap has said he wants to go home to Russia.

Igor Sutyagin, 45, says he wants to see his wife and children and fix the porch on his house in Obninsk near Moscow.

He broke his silence in a statement released by his brother in Moscow following his release on 9 July after 11 years in jail in Russia.

He was freed with three others also accused of spying for the US in a swap for 10 Russian agents.

Mr Sutyagin was accused of handing classified information about Russian submarines to a British company, that was in turn allegedly a front for the CIA. He has always maintained his innocence.

The 10 Russian agents had pleaded guilty in New York to "conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country" and were expelled from the US.

Passport revoked

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Sutyagin said: "I'm starting to feel myself again, gaining strength, I really want to see my wife, my daughters, my parents and my brother.

"I intend finally to return to Obninsk and repair the thoroughly ramshackle roof of our poky little house on that scrap of land the other side of the Protva [local river].

"A little sooner or a little later, I don't know yet, but it will definitely happen, so everything with me is pretty clear."

Image caption Anna Chapman worked in London's financial sector for several years

As part of the deal for his release, Mr Sutyagin was pardoned by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, so should be allowed to return to Russia in the future.

But the British authorities have refused to comment on the likelihood of this or what they intend for him.

Mr Sutyagin is reported to be staying undercover in a British hotel near London.

Meanwhile Anna Chapman, one of the 10 Russian agents, is reported to be upset the UK has cancelled her passport.

Her US lawyer says the 28-year-old is particularly disappointed she now cannot return to the UK.

Ms Chapman became a British citizen by marriage and worked in the financial sector for a few years after moving to London in 2002.

The spy swap was carried out in Vienna, after which two of the four US spies were reportedly flown to England.

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