State Department Plays Down Fallout from Spy Case

June 29, 2010 - 2:54 PM
The State Department on Tuesday sought to lessen the diplomatic fallout from the breaking up of an alleged Russian spy ring, calling it part of the ups and downs in diplomatic relations.
Washington (AP) - The State Department on Tuesday sought to lessen the diplomatic fallout from the breaking up of an alleged Russian spy ring, calling it part of the ups and downs in diplomatic relations.
 
"We were not going to forgo the opportunity to pursue our common interests because there are things we disagreed on," Phil Gordon, the department's top Russia policy official, told reporters. "I think you should see this spying issue in that context."
 
His remarks were part of an administration effort to minimize diplomatic damage from the arrests of 11 individuals who allegedly assumed fake names and sought to obtain insights to U.S. government policymaking in ways that could benefit Russia.
 
Gordon said that as far as he knows, none of the 11 spy suspects had contact with State Department officials. And he said he knew of no compromise of sensitive State Department information.