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US wiretapping of EU officials is manifestation of double standards - Konstantin Dolgov

July 01, 2013, 10:55 UTC+3

Attorney of the Russian Foreign Ministry on issues of human rights, democracy and the rule of law hopes that Washington will make appropriate conclusions

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MOSCOW, July 1. /ITAR-TASS /. Wiretapping of EU officials by U.S. intelligence services is a manifestation of double standards, as stated today by the Attorney of the Russian Foreign Ministry on issues of human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov.

“Wiretapping of EU officials by U.S. intelligence agencies is another manifestation of double standards in international law and human rights,” twitted Dolgov. “We hope that Washington will make the appropriate conclusions from this scandalous story, as it corresponds to international obligations of the United States.”

Negotiations on the trans-Atlantic zone free trade zone, or the ‘economic NATO’ should be immediately discontinued, as announced earlier today by one of the leaders of the green faction in the European Parliament, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, commenting on the growing spy scandal between the U.S. and the EU. The same idea expressed with more or less certainty is picked up by dozens of his colleagues. European Parliament President Martin Schulz earlier on Sunday said that it was a ‘huge scandal’.

German magazine Spiegel has published an article based on information provided by ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden that claims that American intelligence services have been wiretapping phone conversations and intercepted e-mails of senior leadership of the EU, including the ministers of the member countries, among them - Germany and France.

According to this data, the U.S. intelligence infiltrated the computers and telephone networks of three buildings: the EU Office in Washington and the UN, as well as the headquarters of the European Council in Brussels, where EU summits are held, in which the Heads of State and Government of the EU debate and make key decisions including in the field of economy and foreign policy.

As reported by Spiegel, Germany enjoys most scrutiny from U.S. intelligence that “wiretaps every day up to 15 million phone conversations in Germany and circa 2 million in France”.

European media reprinted excerpts from the German edition, in which the U.S. intelligence called the Europeans ‘targets for attacks’, and in the ‘Classification of loyalty’ USA placed Germany and France after Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

The matters are compound by the fact that the European Parliament has postponed in 2011 the signing of the agreement with U.S. on the protection of personal electronic information. MEPs, as it turned out, not without reason, feared that in the United States not everything is well with the compliance with secrecy of such data.

Politicians in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and other European countries have already demanded an explanation from Washington.

The executive structure of the European Union - the European Commission - has also announced that it has sent a formal request to the U.S. authorities for clarification.

“Allies do not spy each other,” said Sunday night the Commissioner of Luxembourg for issues of justice, fundamental rights and citizenship Viviane Reding.

Another European Commissioner - Belgian Karel De Gucht, in charge of foreign trade, and hence the negotiations for a free trade area with the United States, said earlier that the case is “very seriously”. “Clarity, truth and transparency is what we can and should expect from our friends and allies. We need urgent explanations from the Americans,” said in his turn the French commissioner Michel Barnier, in charge with domestic market affairs. As told by ITAR-TASS reporter in Washington Dmitry Zlodorev, U.S. government has promised “to answer through diplomatic channels to EU requirements of giving explanations concerning the appeared information on wiretapping EU offices by U.S. intelligence.” This was reported on Sunday by the office of National Intelligence Directorate.

“We will discuss the situation in bilateral format,” stressed in the intelligence service. “We're not going to comment publicly on reports of alleged intelligence activities, however, we made ​​it clear that the U.S. has collected intelligence information, as all another countries do.”

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