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Russia: Moscow Raps U.S. Envoy Over Call For Joint Spying In Iraq

Moscow, 13 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said today that U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow's suggestion that the Russian and U.S. intelligence services cooperate in Iraq was "tactless." The spokesman said in a statement that the Russia-U.S. "partnership consists of reliable channels of dialogue and to raise this through the media is tactless."

Yesterday, Vershbow suggested that Russia could provide "useful help" in Iraq, notably sharing intelligence about the whereabouts of Iraqis fighting U.S. forces there.

Also yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry rejected Vershbow's comments that the U.S. did not regard the Russian Embassy in Iraq as a diplomatic mission and would accept no responsibility for the security of envoys in Baghdad.