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Russia downplays WikiLeaks exposures

Nov. 29, 2010 at 2:25 PM
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NEW DELHI, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Russia's foreign minister brushed off the WikiLeaks uproar Monday, saying it would not affect policy.

"WikiLeaks is an amusing read, but in practical politics we are going to be guided by the concrete actions of our partners," Sergei Lavrov told RIA Novosti in New Delhi while visiting India.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's spokeswoman in Moscow said the leaked U.S. cables were unworthy of comment.

One cable from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said Medvedev "plays Robin" to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's "Batman."

In another cable, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told then-French Foreign Minister Herve Morin, "Russian democracy has disappeared and the government is an oligarchy run by the security services."

"President Medvedev has a more pragmatic vision for Russia than Prime Minister Putin, but there has been little real change," Gates said.

Putin's close ties with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attracted much notice, with talk of "lavish gifts" and a "shadowy" Russian-speaking Italian go-between.

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