(Edited from AP, Moscow) The Cold War-style intrigue over a reputed spy ring nabbed in the United States deepened Wednesday as word emerged of a possible scheme to swap Russians who hid in American suburbia for an imprisoned arms-control researcher and others who passed secrets to the U.S.

Dmitry Sutyagin says his brother Igor, who is serving a 14-year prison term, was told he is among convicted spies who are to be exchanged for Russians arrested by the FBI.

(Edited from AP, Moscow) The Cold War-style intrigue over a reputed spy ring nabbed in the United States deepened Wednesday as word emerged of a possible scheme to swap Russians who hid in American suburbia for an imprisoned arms-control researcher and others who passed secrets to the U.S.

Dmitry Sutyagin says his brother Igor, who is serving a 14-year prison term, was told he is among convicted spies who are to be exchanged for Russians arrested by the FBI.

Officials from both the United States and Russia refused to comment on the claim, but Dmitry Sutyagin said his brother could be whisked off to Vienna and then to London for a planned exchange as early as Thursday.

In the U.S., American officials met with the Russian ambassador in Washington and a hearing for three alleged spies was canceled in Virginia. They were ordered to New York along with two other alleged spies who waived their right to a local hearing in Boston.

The other five defendants were already in custody in New York.

Igor Sutyagin was told by Russian officials that he and other convicted spies are to be exchanged for the 10 Russians arrested by the FBI last month, his brother said. U.S. officials were also at the meeting held Monday at a prison in Arkhangelsk, in northwestern Russia, his brother said.

The spy swap, if confirmed, would continue a pattern of spy exchanges began during the Cold War. In one of those most famous cases, downed U.S. U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was exchanged for KGB spy Col. Rudolph Abel in 1962.

The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Federal Penitentiary Service said they had no comment on the claim and a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy was not immediately available for comment.

In Washington, both FBI spokesman William Carter and the State Department declined to comment. However, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, a former American ambassador to Moscow, met Wednesday with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at Kislyak’s residence.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Burns and Kislyak did talk about the spy case but their main purpose was to review Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s recent visit to this country.

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