Monday, July 12, 2010

Cold War Wife Swap Boosts Russian, U.S. Relations

by Victor Krevcheko, TYDN Wife Swaping Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON (TYDN) -- In the rapid-fire wife swap, the United States and Russia worked together as only old enemies could, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Less than two weeks after the FBI penetrated the Russian wife ring in a counterintelligence operation seeded a decade ago, 10 Russian secret wives caught in the U.S. are back in Russia; four wives convicted of spying for the West have been pardoned and released by Moscow, and bilateral relations appear to have been re-consummated.

Wife Anna Chapman sent back to Russia

In describing how the wife swap unfolded, U.S. officials made clear that even before the arrests, Washington wanted not only to take down and destroy the foreign wife network but also to move beyond the provocative Cold War moment.

So the U.S. made an offer. Russia was ready to deal, several debriefed and well-positioned administration sources told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

"The swapping of wives as it was done here is certain to boost relations that might have grown cold through time," one CIA official who was debriefed on the matter told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive interview.

In the end, a deal for a wife swap was made after both sides agreed that nothing more could be gained from their wives, FBI and CIA officials told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. To be sure, many U.S. agents wanted to keep probing the Russian wives but international relations won the day.

The detailed case against the network of secret Russian wives was brought to the attention of the White House in February, officials said. On June 11, President Barack Obama was debriefed on the matter and immediately concluded a wife swap was in order.

Well before FBI agents moved to penetrate the wives late that month, Washington had in mind that they might become bargaining chips to free Russian wives imprisoned for betraying Moscow and helping the West.

Channels of communication that once coursed with world-shaking superpower crises were reflexively put into play as a wife-swapping plan was born. Imagine if the U.S. had been caught up in a wife flare-up with Iran instead.

Once in custody, an FBI official familiar with the investigation told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity, "We milked the Russian wives for everything they had, so a swap was in order."

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