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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ministry Calls Leaks 'Provocative'

Russia's Foreign Ministry Friday called in U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering and complained to him over leaks to the press, which it said had violated the principle of diplomatic confidentiality.

"It was emphasized [to Pickering] that normal interstate contacts could not take place without observation of this principle," said ministry spokesman Grigory Karasin, quoted by Itar-Tass.

Karasin said the Foreign Ministry had called on the U.S. side to take steps to stop "provocative leaks" to the mass media, but he did not elaborate.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow had no immediate comment.

The move appeared linked with publication by The Washington Times of reports based on secret memos of confidential talks between U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The White House said Thursday it had asked the Justice Department to look into leaks of classified cables.

One related to a private meeting Clinton had with Yeltsin earlier this month in Egypt at an anti-terrorism summit.

The newspaper said Clinton had agreed to back Yeltsin's re-election bid with "positive" U.S. policies toward Russia. In exchange, Clinton had asked for Yeltsin's help in clearing up "negative" issues such as a poultry dispute between the two countries, it said.