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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spy Blake Still Works for Russia

The head of Russia's foreign intelligence service said in remarks to be published Wednesday that British spy George Blake was still working "for the good of Russia".

In an interview marking Russia's "Day of Security Organ Workers", SVR chief Sergei Lebedev said Blake was one of many Cold War spies still labouring in Moscow's interest.

"George Blake, who continues actively to toil for Russia, is not the only one who is still alive, but many others," Lebedev told Izvestiya newspaper to mark the December 20 day of spies.

Lebedev, appointed in May, fended off further questions on foreign spies in Russia, saying: "We do not yet have the right to talk about these other personalities living in Russia."

The interview was one of several in Russian newspapers to mark the work of intelligence and security staff, including one by the head of the FSB domestic counter-intelligence service.

Blake was a Soviet agent from 1944-1961, when he was jailed. He escaped from prison five years later and fled to Russia, where he has lived since.

Blake has made few public appearances in recent years but wrote an autobiography in 1990 called "No Other Choice" covering his career with Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, his conviction for spying and his life in Russia.

The SVR said at the time of Lebedev's appointment that Lebedev had worked in Germany but gave no details of his relationship with Putin, who worked for the KGB and was based in Dresden.

Lebedev said there was no relationship.

"No, even in Germany our paths did not cross," he said.