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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid