The State Department says the busting of an alleged Russian spy ring will not derail administration efforts to improve relations with Moscow.
Phil Gordon, the State Department's top Russia policy official, told reporters Tuesday that the scandal should be seen in the context of a U.S.-Russia relationship in which the two sides cooperate on some issues and disagree on others.
His remarks were part of an administration effort to minimize diplomatic fallout 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.
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