US claims spy case won't harm ties with Russia

The U.S. push to reset ties with Moscow will not be undermined by an alleged Russian spy ring, a senior U.S. official said.

US claims spy case won't harm ties with Russia

 

The U.S. push to reset ties with Moscow will not be undermined by "vestiges" of Cold War espionage such as the weekend disclosure of an alleged Russian spy ring, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

"We have made significant progress in the 18 months that we have been pursuing this different relationship with Russia. We think we have something to show for it," Philip Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European affairs, said.

The Justice Department said on Monday it had arrested 10 people for working undercover to gather intelligence for Moscow.

Despite angry Russian denunciation of the arrests, Gordon told a news briefing they would not undercut new cooperation on a range of issues including disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and Afghanistan.

"We're moving towards a more trusting relationship. We're beyond the Cold War," Gordon said. "I think our relations absolutely demonstrate that. But as I say, I don't think anyone was hugely shocked to know that some vestiges of old attempts to use intelligence are still there."

Gordon said the State Department was in touch with the Russian government both in Washington and in Moscow about the case, but declined to provide further detail.

News of the alleged spy ring broke days after President Barack Obama welcomed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Washington on visit which ended with a U.S. vow of support for Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization.

Gordon said the Justice Department determined its own timing for the spy ring announcement and this had no connection to the U.S.-Russia diplomatic relationship.

"We have from the start focused on the reason for the reset in the relations and the common interest, and I think we will continue to do so," Gordon said.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Haziran 2010, 08:34
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