Russia rejects claims about intelligence sharing with Iraq

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"Such practice can only lead to disappointment, and seems to have an obvious motivation behind it - to distract attention from the aggravating problems in postwar Iraq"

MOSCOW, March 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia Thursday rejected reports alleging it had passed intelligence to Iraq ahead of the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said materials handed over by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for verification were inaccurate.

"[The materials] are based on two recorded conversations between Iraqi officials of the time and allegedly the Russian ambassador," Kamynin said. "The facts presented in the materials cannot be confirmed."

He said the Russian ambassador to Iraq had not met the officials who allegedly prepared the reports for Saddam Hussein's regime, and added that this was not the first time Russia had been falsely accused.

"For example, the fabricated materials about our representatives' involvement in taking components of weapons of mass destruction from Iraq along with relevant documents, evacuating 'Saddam's secret archives', and so on," Kamynin said, adding that no apologies had followed the accusations.

"Such practice can only lead to disappointment, and seems to have an obvious motivation behind it - to distract attention from the aggravating problems in postwar Iraq," he said.

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