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Russia: Yeltsin Pardons Convicted CIA Spy

Moscow, 8 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin today pardoned a former Russian diplomat who was sentenced to seven years of hard labor for spying for the United States.

A spokesman for the Russian Security Services (FSB) told Itar-Tass that Vladimir Makarov had already left Moscow's Lefortovo prison.

No reason for the pardon was given. However, the spokesman told Itar-Tass the FSB had supported Makarov's plea for clemency because of his full acceptance of guilt and his active cooperation with the investigation.

Makarov was sentenced in June for spying for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Itar-Tass said Makarov was recruited by the CIA in 1976 in Bolivia. He continued working for it until his return to Moscow in 1979 and then again in Spain from 1989. Itar-Tass said Makarov received $20,000 for his work as a spy.