Arrests of alleged Russian spies will not affect U.S.-Russian relations: White House

08:31, June 30, 2010      

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The White House said on Tuesday that the arrests of the alleged Russian spies will not affect the recently improved U.S.-Russian relations.

"I think we have made a new start to working together on things like in the United Nations dealing with North Korea and Iran. I do not think that this will affect those relations." White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

U.S. Justice Department announced on Monday that authorities had busted a spy ring suspected of conducting long-term, "deep- cover" espionage for Moscow. Court documents said that the 11 suspects had tried to penetrate decision-making circles of the U.S. government.

Gibbs said U.S. President Barack Obama was "fully and appropriately" informed of the arrests, describing the act of law enforcement as appropriate.

The arrests came just days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the U.S., which Obama said has succeeded in " resetting" the bilateral ties.

U.S.-Russian ties had hit a Cold-War-era low after conflicts broke out between Russia and Georgia in 2008. Obama decided, since he took office in Jan. 2009, to improve the marred bilateral relations.

The recent signing of a new nuclear arms treaty by the two countries and their cooperation on the issue of Iran indicated that Obama's effort has somewhat paid off.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told former U.S. President Bill Clinton Tuesday that hopefully the latest Russian spy row in the United States would not jeopardize bilateral ties.

"I hope very much that the positive that was collected recently in our interstate relations will not experience any harm because of the recent events," said Putin as quoted by the Interfax news agency.

Source: Xinhua


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