Moscow: The 11th Russian spy said to be
leader of Moscow`s espionage ring in the US was a double agent
who `betrayed` his colleagues and his disappearance from
Cyprus was probably an American "smoke-screen", a media report
said on Wednesday.
Canadian passport holder Robert Christopher Metsos who
disappeared from Cyprus after jumping bail was the `most
important figure` in the spy ring and was `ideally placed` to
betray all of its members, "Novaya Gazeta" weekly said today.
"Metsos` disappearance from Cyprus was not a fiasco of
the Americans, but was probably their smoke-screen," the
US and Russia swapped 14 spies in the worst ever
post-Cold War spy scandal between the two countries.
Last week speaking to reporters Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin, himself a former KGB spy in East Germany, had
said he knew the `betrayers by name`.
"Novaya Gazeta" believes that for many years Metsos
was `misinforming` Russia. Finally Moscow suspected double
game, which forced the US FBI to act and arrest the members of
"Metsos left for Cyprus, where the comedy of his
release on bail was staged, and he immediately returned to the
US, where he is currently debriefing and waiting for a new
name and surname," Novaya Gazeta`s columnist Yulia Latynina
She says her theory is substantiated by two facts:
Nobody is asking FBI, how could they let the main spy escape?
Secondly, why Russia is mum on the flight of Metsos from
"The escape of Metsos is the only part of the whole
story, of which Russia could take pride in.
But so far no report quoting `reliable sources` has
emerged in the media," the weekly notes.