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Russia Says Snowden Leaks Won't Hurt US Ties

RIA Novosti

16:33 25/10/2013

MINSK, October 25 (RIA Novosti) – Leaks by former US security contractor Edward Snowden regarding US intelligence-gathering on Russia will have no impact on relations between Moscow and Washington, Russia's foreign minister said Friday.

Sergei Lavrov said issues regarding Snowden were not high on Russia's international diplomatic agenda.

Emerging allegations that US intelligence operative have spied on the phones of dozens of world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have in recent days drawn widespread anger.

Lavrov said in the capital of Belarus, Minsk, that Snowden's revelations would not harm US-Russia relations, however, and said "contacts [between the two countries] will never stop."

"We have formed our position on Snowden and said everything," he said.

The Washington Post cited US officials this week as saying Snowden had tens of thousands of documents, including those containing sensitive material about collection programs against countries like Iran, Russia and China.

Snowden, who is facing espionage charges in the United States, has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

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