Ten convicted Russian spies flew out of Vienna on Friday after arriving on a charter flight from New York, a Russian special service source said.
They arrived to Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport on a Russian Emergency Ministry plane.
Under the spy exchange deal, Russia agreed to release four Russian prisoners who will take their family members to resettle in the United States.
FOUR WESTERN SPIES PARDONED
Earlier on Friday, the Kremlin said that Medvedev had pardoned four individuals imprisoned in Russia for allegedly spying for 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.
British media said the two of the four released headed to the United States while the remaining two remained in Britain after they arrived at the UK Brize Norton airbase in West Oxfordshire.
The names of those who remained in Britain have not been disclosed.
MEDVEDEV PARDONS ADDITIONAL 16 INMATES
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev 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.
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.
CONVICTED U.S. SPY MAY SEEK POLITICAL ASYLUM IN BRITAIN
One of the four participants of the U.S.-Russian spy swap deal, U.S. spy Igor Sutyagin, may seek political asylum in Britain, International Intelligence Limited' s CEO, Alex Bomberg said.
In April 2004, Igor Sutyagin, a Russian arms control and nuclear weapons specialist, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Archangelsk, northwest Russia, for sharing state secrets with U.S. military intelligence.
"Sutyagin might apply for political asylum in the UK, if indeed the UK wishes to have him here," Bomberg said, adding that "Canada might be a more likely option."
Bomberg also said none of the intelligence services were interested in the spying scientist since he had spent too much time in Russian prison.
Referring to the details of the deal, Bomberg said that "ten Russian spies for four western spies is not really a fair deal."
SPIES' CHILDREN TO RETURN TO PARENTS
A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said Russian diplomatic missions abroad will help the children of the citizens convicted of spying in the United States return to their parents.
The 17-year-old son of Vicky Pelaez and Mikhail Vasenkov, who had been known as Juan Lazaro from Uruguay, is expected to remain in the United States with his 38-year-old half-brother, Pelaez's son from a previous marriage.
Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva, who were known as Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, began soon after their arrest to make arrangements for their two children, aged 1 and 3, to go to Russia.
It is not clear what will happen to the other four children, the 7- and 11-year-old daughters of Vladimir and Lydia Guryev (Richard and Cynthia Murphy) and the 16- and 20-year-old sons of Andrei Bezrukov and Yelena Vavilova (Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley).
BRITAIN MULLS CANCELATION OF CITIZENSHIP OF TWO RUSSIAN SPIES CONVICTED IN U.S.
British authorities are considering the urgent cancelation of UK citizenship from two convicted Russian spies in the United States, a source at the UK Border Agency said.
She said that British Home Secretary Theresa May is looking into the issue on rescinding the citizenship from two defendants in the spy scandal.
The 28-year-old spy Ann Chapman (Kuschenko) is a British citizen and another woman, 47-year-old Yelena Vavilova (Tracey Lee Ann), allegedly has a British passport.
The source from the U.K. Border agency said that the Home Secretary is authorized to withdraw British passport only from those who have dual citizenship.
RUSSIANS CONSIDER RECENT SPY SCANDAL FBI PROVOCATION
Meanwhile, the number of Russians who believe the recent U.S.-Russian spy scandal was FBI-orchestrated is quite high.
Russia's Levada Center think-tank issued a poll that revealed over half of the respondents (53%) said the scandal was invented by the U. S. intelligence services in order to undermine Russia-U.S. bilateral ties, which saw noticeable improvement after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's recent visit to the United States.
Another 37% found it difficult to express their opinion on the scandal.
MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti)