News / USA

State Department Downplays Damage of Russian Spy Case

Drawing showing five of the 10 arrested Russian spy suspects in a New York courtroom, 28 Jun 2010
Drawing showing five of the 10 arrested Russian spy suspects in a New York courtroom, 28 Jun 2010

The State Department said Tuesday the break-up of an alleged Russian spy ring by U.S. law enforcement officials need not derail Obama administration efforts to improve relations with Moscow. The spy arrests come less than a week after a Washington visit by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

Officials here say no one should be surprised by the alleged spy case, and that the Obama administration intends to keep on pursuing a better working relationship with Moscow despite the arrests of 10 alleged Russian agents in the United States.

At a news briefing, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Philip Gordon said when President Obama began his efforts to re-set the U.S.-Russian relationship 18 months ago, some disagreements and problems were expected to remain and the spy case should be seen in that context.

Gordon said U.S. diplomats have raised the issue with Russian officials in both Washington and Moscow, but gave no details.  He said he was, at this point, unaware of potential diplomatic expulsions stemming from the case.

Gordon said the two sides have moved beyond the Cold War and toward a more trusting relationship, but apparently not far enough to prompt Moscow to abandon intelligence operations in the United States.

"We would like to get to the point where there is just so much trust and cooperation between the United States and Russia that nobody would think of turning to intelligence means to find out things that they couldn't find out in other channels," said Gordon.  "We're apparently not there yet. I don't think anyone in this room is shocked to have discovered that."

Some news reports suggested Obama administration officials were unhappy with the timing of the announcement of the arrests, just days after the Medvedev visit.

There was no public criticism, however, of the Justice Department's handling of the case. Acting State Department Spokesman Gordon Duguid said law enforcement authorities acted on their own timetable.

"I have to refer you to them for their statement on why it was that they moved on the particular day that they did," said Duguid.  "I do know that the administration is committed to protecting the security of the United States, and the Department of Justice seems to have moved in that role forcefully."

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told visiting former U.S. President Bill Clinton he hoped the spy case does not damage recent positive gains in the bilateral relationship.

Asked about the comment, a senior official here, who spoke on grounds of anonymity, said he wished Russian officials had thought about that before mounting the intelligence operation.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid