Spy Swap Expected After US Drops Charges Against Russians

At least ten Western spies were expected to be swapped for ten members of an alleged Russian ring arrested last month. The accused Russians were due before a court in New York last night where it was expected they would admit a minor charge of being an unregistered agent of a foreign government, after espionage charges were dropped. Their plea would clear the way for a quick deportation to Russia.Washington and Moscow have been searching for a rapid solution to the affair with both governments keen to put the incident behind them and avoid the embarrassing spectacle of a lengthy trial. Sources revealed yesterday that Anna Chapman, the young woman suspected of spying for the Kremlin in the United States and Britain, was expected back in Moscow within 24 hours. There were also claims a convicted "CIA spy" held by Russia for leaking nuclear secrets had been spirited to Austria.