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Viennna, Venue for the exchange of Spies between US and Russia.

This exercise is said to be biggest spy swap since the Cold War, between US and Russia in an exchange at Vienna airport.

BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna witness the spy swap on runway, which was similar to Hollywood flick.

Both planes landed at Vienna  airport and were parked side by side. One plane brought 10 Russian agents deported from the US after a court hearing at which they admitted being agents for a foreign country. The other was said to have brought four people convicted of spying in Russia but given a presidential pardon after they signed to admit their guilt.

Both planes took off again after about 90 minutes.

The Russian Yakovlev Yak-42 plane said to be carrying the four people pardoned by Moscow had landed at Vienna airport at about the same time as the Vision Airlines Boeing 767-200 from New York, carrying the Russian agents.

The BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna says a swap on the runway would mean that no-one had officially entered the country.

The next destinations of the planes have not been confirmed.

However, a senior Russian official was earlier quoted by Agence France-Presse news agency as saying the Russian agents were expected to arrive back in their homeland on Friday.

The lawyer for nuclear specialist Igor Sutyagin, one of those released by Russia, confirmed that his client had left Moscow, Austrian media said.

Russia's foreign ministry acknowledged the swap, saying it would mean the "return to Russia of 10 Russian citizens accused in the United States, along with the simultaneous transfer to the United States of four individuals previously condemned in Russia".

-BBC Inputs

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