VLADIMIR PUTIN says he met with the Russian spies who were expelled from the US, joining them in a patriotic song and promising them good jobs and a bright future back in their homeland.
Russia’s prime minister said on Saturday he recently got together with the 10 sleeper agents, without saying when or where. The agents were expelled from the US earlier this month in a biggest spy scandal since the Cold War.
“We talked about life,” Putin told reporters in Ukraine. “We sang ‘What Motherland Begins With’ and other songs of that character.”
“What Motherland Begins With” is a song from the 1968 television series about Soviet spies in Nazi Germany. The song is favoured by intelligence officers.
Putin, a former KGB officer who spent three years in socialist Germany as a low-level functionary, spoke about the uneasy lives the secret agents had in the US, where they were caught by the FBI in US cities where they had been living for more than a decade.
“They had a very difficult fate,” Putin said, referring to the expelled spies who spent years of burrowing into American society. “They had to carry out a task to benefit their motherland’s interests for many, many years without a diplomatic cover, risking themselves and those close to them.”
The 10 agents were deported in exchange for three former intelligence officers and a think tank arms expert convicted and sentenced to long prison sentences in Russia.
Putin promised that the Motherland will take a good care of its spying sons and daughters.
“They will work, and I am sure they will have decent jobs,” he said. “And I am sure they will have an interesting and bright life.”
Moscow and Washington expressed satisfaction with the resolution of the spy case.
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