Russian spy chief says nearly 100 foreign spies exposed this year

Russia's spy chief said Wednesday that his service has thwarted the work of nearly 100 foreign agents in the past year, and that the ex-Soviet Baltic nations have increased their espionage activity, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday. The comments by Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Federal Security Service, the main successor agency to the KGB, reflect an increasingly assertive - and public - presence of Russia's intelligence and security agencies, both at home and abroad. They also follow public statements by officials in Britain and the United States singling out Russia and China as countries that are aggressively spying on sensitive Western facilities, intelligence systems and development projects. Patrushev was quoted by RIA-Novosti, ITAR-Tass and Interfax news agencies as saying that foreign spies were mostly seeking information about Russia's political system, economic interests and foreign policy moves.