July 4, 2010 / 5:15 PM / 10 years ago

U.S.-Russian ties will not be harmed: Medvedev

(From L to R) Russian spy suspects Vicky Pelaez, Richard Murphy, Cynthia Murphy and Juan Lazaro, are seen in this courtroom sketch during an appearance at the Manhattan Federal Court in New York July 1, 2010. REUTERS/Shirley Shepherd

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Attempts to derail improvements in relations between Russia and the United States will fail, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wrote in a letter to U.S. counterpart Barack Obama amid a spy scandal.

Congratulating Obama on the U.S. July 4 Independence Day, he wrote: “(Our) constructive, neighborly relations... make it futile to try to downplay the importance of our achievements.”

While Washington and Moscow have pledged that the U.S. arrests last week of 10 alleged spies working for Russia will not damage ties, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused U.S. authorities of going “out of control.”

The United States and Russia have been working to repair strained ties, including trying to reach agreements on how to deal with Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs, after the Obama administration proposed a “reset” in ties between the Cold War foes.

Moscow has acknowledged that the spy suspects are Russian citizens. Prosecutors stopped short of accusing them of espionage — seeking classified information — but charged them with being unregistered agents of a foreign government.

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