Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on pardoning another 16 individuals apart from the four who were imprisoned in Russia for allegedly working for Western intelligence agencies, the Kremlin press service said on Friday.
According to the Kremlin press service, Medvedev pardoned a total of 20 individuals, who were subsequently released from prison.
Earlier on Friday, the Kremlin said that Medvedev had pardoned four individuals imprisoned in Russia for alleged spying for the United States. Those four individuals flew to Vienna, Austria, earlier on Friday for a spy swap with the United States, which handed 10 individuals over to Russia. The four then continued on to Great Britain, where two were left, and the remaining two are assumedly en route to the United States.
The pardoned individuals are Alexander Zaporozhsky, Gennady Vasilenko, Sergei Skripal and Igor Sutyagin, the former head of the military technology and economics department at the Institute of the United States and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The 10 members of the alleged Russian spy ring were arrested in the United States in late June on suspicion of spying for Russia, and an 11th suspect was detained in Cyprus but escaped the island after being released from custody on bail. His whereabouts are still unknown.
MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti)