Putin Believes US And France Will Try to 'Forget' Wiretapping Scandal

Russia President agreed with earlier comments by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the US and France would try to brush the latest wiretapping scandal under the carpet as soon as possible

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he agrees with earlier comments by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that both parties will try to cover up and forget the recent wiretapping scandal which revealed how U.S. intelligence had spied on three French presidents.

During a meeting of Russia's Security Council, Mr. Lavrov updated members on his talks with the foreign ministers of the Normandy Quartet in Paris, TASS reported. However, those talks, which were meant to address the Ukrainian crisis, were distracted by the media attention given to the recent spying scandal.

Asked by Putin how the scandal will develop, Lavrov said it would follow the same pattern as what happened when leaks revealed U.S. intelligence agencies were spying on the German leadership.

“Both sides will try to hush it quickly and forget what happened,” TASS reported Lavrov as saying.

“So be it,” replied Putin, acknowledging that he felt the same.

Earlier, French President Francois Hollande discussed the wiretapping scandal in a phone call with U.S. President Barack Obama. "During the talks, both the sides exchanged their views on the principles that should guide relations in the field of intelligence between allied nations,” said the Elysee Palace in a statement.

The phone call came after Hollande held an urgent meeting with his security staff on June 24 in Paris. Following that statement, Hollande's office put out a statement saying that, “France will not tolerate any actions that threaten its security and the defense of its interests”, adding that the U.S. intelligence service's actions were “totally unacceptable”.

It was also reported that the U.S. ambassador to France was summoned to the French Foreign Ministry to provide an explanation for the scandal. France has also said it will send representatives of its intelligence services to the U.S. to get further clarification on the spying of its leaders from U.S. authorities.

According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the U.S. does not normally attempt to intercept the conversations of Hollande and other leaders of friendly states. However, he admitted that Washington had done so on occasion in the past, when there are “specifc and reasonable goals in the field of national security.”

Image credit: nizger via flickr.com

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