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Spy Chapman May Join Putin’s Party to Run for Duma

Spy Chapman May Join Putin’s Party to Run for Duma
Anna Chapman has been the most visible of 10 Russian agents deported from the U.S. last July. Photgrapher: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Anna Chapman, one of the Russian spies expelled from the U.S. last year, will probably run for parliament as a member of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.

Chapman, praised by Putin for her service to the country, is officially a "party supporter" and will be eligible for full membership in the summer, said Frants Klintsevich, a senior United Russia official and a lawmaker in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. Elections are scheduled for December.

Chapman has been the most visible of 10 Russian agents deported from the U.S. last July. She has her own weekly television show, "Mysteries of the World With Anna Chapman," and has appeared on the cover of Maxim magazine in lingerie, holding a gun, as well as in the nude in the U.S. edition of Playboy.

"The party needs young beautiful girls," Klintsevich said by phone from Moscow today. "She can bring more supporters with her. She’s a smart, sharp person. She needs to fulfill her potential. She’s a patriot who really suffered for her country."

Klintsevich, who is also a chairman of party supporters’ organization, said that he would recommend Chapman for membership and would be happy to see her in the parliament. Chapman didn’t respond immediately to requests for comment in e-mail or via her Facebook page.

Putin, a KGB officer who was posted to East Germany during the Cold War, told reporters last July that the agents would have "interesting, bright" lives in Russia. He also hosted a dinner for the group to discuss "life" and sing patriotic songs, according to the government’s website.

Another member of the spy ring, Natalia Pereverzeva, who went by the name Patricia Mills, was hired by state-run pipeline operator OAO Transneft as an adviser on international projects to Chief Executive Officer Nikolai Tokarev.

A third agent, Andrei Bezrukov, who lived in the U.S. as Donald Heathfield, is working as an adviser for state-run oil company OAO Rosneft.

Chapman, who turns 29 next week, has worked as an adviser to Fondservisbank, which invests in aerospace and high-technology industries, since October, according to the Moscow-based company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Willy Morris at wmorris@bloomberg.net

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