U.S., Russia to avoid diplomatic meltdown amid spy scandal

17:23, June 30, 2010      

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton seen during their meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Putin criticised the U.S. arrests of suspects in an alleged Russian spy ring and said on Tuesday he hoped the scandal would not set back improving Russian-U.S. ties. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

With the will to reset their relations, both the United States and Russia are trying to avoid the spy row from escalating into a diplomatic meltdown.

Following the detention of 10 alleged Russian spies in the United States on Sunday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko chastised the detention as "groundless" and with "unseemly goals," adding that a public statement of the U.S. Department of Justice was made "in the spirit of the Cold War."

Nikolai Kovalyov, former chief of the Federal Security Service, said some of the U.S. charges against the alleged spies resembled a "bad spy novel."

Nevertheless, the Russian government are cooling off its rage in their most recent statement despite persistent denial that these alleged spies had done anything harmful to the United States.

While meeting with former U.S. President Bill Clinton in his country residence on Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hoped the spy row would not jeopardize Russia-U.S. ties.

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