Igor Sutyagin, an arms control researcher who was part of a spy swap with the United States earlier this month, said Thursday that he would return home from Britain and called for continued support of scientists still jailed in Russia for espionage.
“I’m collecting myself, building up my strength, and I very much want to see my wife, daughters, parents and brother,” said Sutyagin, convicted in 2004 on charges of spying for the United States and Britain.
Sutyagin, who spent 11 years behind bars, said he was not sure when he will return home, “but it will definitely happen.”
Sutyagin thanked his supporters for winning his freedom and urged them to continue pushing for the release of others who remain incarcerated in Russia on similar charges. “Don’t forget them, please,” he said in a statement on his web site.
Igor Sutyagin’s brother, Dmitry, confirmed the authenticity of the statement by telephone.
Sutyagin has consistently maintained his innocence, though as part of the swap deal, he admitted his guilt and was subsequently pardoned by President Dmitry Medvedev. His lawyer, Anna Stavitskaya, said the admission was made under duress.