Russia chides US over Pentagon Iraq report

Published on Mar 28, 2006 01:20 AM IST

Russia accused the US of having "hidden political motives" for a report that said Moscow turned over information on US military plans to Saddam Hussein.

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None | ByAssociated Press, Moscow

Russia's foreign minister on Monday accused the United States of having "hidden political motives" for a report that said Moscow turned over information on US military plans to Saddam Hussein during the US-led invasion of Iraq.

The Pentagon report released on Friday said that two captured Iraqi documents indicate that Russia obtained information from sources "inside the American Central Command" in Qatar. Russia passed battlefield intelligence to Saddam through the former Russian ambassador in Baghdad, Vladimir Titorenko, according to the Pentagon report.

Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service dismissed the allegations over the weekend as did Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday. "How this was done allows one to speculate that this has hidden political motives and that this is being done in connection with Iraq, but I can hardly be sure of it," he said.

"It is unclear to us why the international community has to learn about such facts regarding Russian intelligence cooperation in Iraq from the media," he said.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US administration will ask Russia about the report.

"Any implication that there were those from a foreign government who may have been passing information to the Iraqis prior to the invasion would be, of course, very worrying," Rice said Sunday on the CNN program "Late Edition."

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