ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston is here with that story. And Dina, what do we know about these talks?
DINA TEMPLE: The vague outline of the negotiations is that they would basically trade 10 people arrested here in the U.S. for some people who are in jail in Russia. Essentially, the idea is the people here plead to some lesser charge, and then they're deported and sent back to Russia.
SIEGEL: So what do you think: a prisoner exchange under cover of darkness a la John le Carre, at some border crossing?
TEMPLE: It's unclear who the other people in the list are, but if you remember, there was that former American FBI agent, Robert Hanssen, who was found guilty of spying for the Soviets. And he apparently gave them quite a number of names. So those names could be on the list, too.
SIEGEL: Any idea of when this swap might take place?
TEMPLE: But, you know, discussion can still break down, the deal isn't done yet. You know, nobody is commenting on this on the record, so there's still a lot to go from here.
SIEGEL: Is it implicit here, then, that the Russians would acknowledge these were their spies, and that the U.S. would acknowledge that those are our spies?
TEMPLE: Well, the Russians have been sort of slicing that rather fine. What they've said is, essentially, they didn't do any harm to the U.S.
SIEGEL: Okay. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston, speaking to us from New York.
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