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Russia: Wife Of Accused Spy Pleads For Clinton's Help

Moscow, 14 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The wife of a retired KGB agent arrested in New York has sent a letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton pleading for her husband's release.

Svetlana Galkin delivered the letter to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow yesterday. Embassy officials promised to send it on to Washington.

Vladimir Galkin, who retired in 1992 after 21 years of KGB service, was arrested last month for conspiring to steal top-secret information about the U.S. "Star Wars" missile defense system.

In an interview with Associated Press Television, Mrs. Galkin said her husband thought that "the Cold War is over." She said he went to the United States without any concern. Galkin did not conceal his former occupation when he requested a U.S. visa. The United States granted him a visa on October 23 and issued his arrest warrant a day later.

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service says Galkin is a private citizen who was in the United States on a business trip. A spokeswoman for the service, Tatyana Samolis, said yesterday that a retaliatory measure is "absolutely possible."

U.S. State Department spokesman Glyn Davies said Washington knows nothing about the threats of retaliation.