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No swap of Russian, U.S. prisoners

June 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM

MOSCOW, June 7 (UPI) -- A proposed swap of prisoners, an espionage agent and an arms seller, between Russia and the United States will not take place, a Russian official said Thursday.

A top Russian security service official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti a prisoner exchange involving Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a federal judge in New York for planning to sell arms to Colombian revolutionaries, and Russian Federal Security Service Colonel Valery Mikhailov, who was sentenced Wednesday in Moscow Military District Court to 18 years in a Russian prison for spying for the United States, will not occur.

"This variant is impossible since the harm that Mikhailov did to Russia is very large. If a swap takes place, Mikhailov will not participate in it," the official said.

His comment came after Russian media suggested a possible exchange of Bout and Mikhailov be carried out by the two countries, the news agency said.

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