Putin's predecessor in the post of FSB head speaks of international unwritten code on exchanged spies

Putin's predecessor in the post of FSB head speaks of international unwritten code on exchanged spies
Nikolay Kovalev Photo: Alexander Makarov / RIA Novosti

Intelligence services throughout the world adhere to an unwritten code of immunity regarding family members of the disclosed agents and the spies exchanged, said Vladimir Putin's predecessor in the post of FSB head Nikolay Kovalev.

The former Head of the FSB and Vladimir Putin's predecessor in this post, Nikolay Kovalev, spoke of the international unwritten code of the special services on the exchanged spies.

According to Kovalev, almost all special services of the world adhere to this code, especially regarding the inviolability of their families.

"It is clear that this is not put on paper, but there are such verbal agreements, unwritten laws, which are followed by the intelligence services all over the world", TASS quotes Kovalev.

"In particular, the intelligence operator’s family is inviolable, because if they start acting through their wife, through children, this process will become irreversible, it can turn into a virtual blood feud," he explains.

The code on intelligence operators also concerns agents who passed the exchange procedure, Kovalev specifies. "After all, everything is taken into account in the exchange, every detail, including a potential danger from the actions of this person," he says. The procedure for the exchange of Sergei Skripal, who was poisoned in the UK, was preceded by an analysis, the special services came to the conclusion that posed no threat to Russia, Kovalev explains.

"No one of the exchanged is at risk. The witness protection programs work in such cases," the ex-director of the FSB explains.

On Monday, March 12, British Prime Minister Theresa May declared that Russia was "highly likely" responsible for the poisoning of GRU former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. May also said that Skripal was poisoned by Russia's developed nerve agent known as Novichok. She added: "Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down; our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so.”

"The Government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal," she said.

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