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US Presses Moscow On Reports Of Spying For Iraq

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Mar 28, 2006
The United States pressed Moscow on Monday for an explanation of reports that Russia had given Saddam Hussein intelligence on US troop movements during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Dan Fried, assistant secretary of state for European affairs, spoke to the Russian ambassador here and conveyed a request that Moscow look into the allegations, the State Department said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also planned to raise the matter with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whom she is due to see Thursday in Berlin during international consultations on Iran's nuclear program.

"If that's the first opportunity for her to have a conversation with the foreign minister, then she will bring it up then," said department spokesman Sean McCormack. "If not, it will be before then, in a telephone call."

"Clearly, as the secretary stated over the weekend, any hint that information provided to the Iraqis may have put our troops in harm's way would be very concerning," McCormack said.

Anger has started to well in Congress against the Russians after the Pentagon released a report Friday that charged they gave Saddam information on the invasion that led to his ouster three years ago.

Republican Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, vowed Sunday to investigate the matter.

Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy said the reports, if true, would warrant a review of ties with Moscow and a second look at US attendance at a Group of Eight industrialized nations summit this July in St. Petersburg.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

Russia Calls US Charge Of Helping Iraq Politically-Motivated
Moscow (AFP) Mar 28, 2006
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday dismissed as politically motivated reports in the United States suggesting that Moscow provided intelligence to Saddam Hussein at the start of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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