Russia Wants Access to Alleged Spy Ring Suspects Arrested in U.S.

Russia's foreign minister demanded Tuesday that it be allowed access to suspected spies arrested in the United States.

Those arrested have committed no kind of activity directed against U.S. interests, the foreign ministry said.

Russia urged the United States to take into account the "positive character" of current Russian-U.S. ties when dealing with the case

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also spoke out Tuesday, expressing hope that the spy scandal would not damage improving relations between Russia and the United States, news agencies reported.

"We are talking about Russian citizens who came to the United States at different times," the ministry said in its latest statement on the scandal.

"They have not committed any kind of actions directed against the interests of the United States," it added.

It called on the U.S. authorities to guarantee consular access from Russian officials for the suspects.

The Foreign Ministry would not say specifically how many of the 11 alleged deep-cover agents are Russian.

NTV television identified two of the defendants as Russian and showed their photographs from a social networking website. NTV said Mikhail Semenko had moved to the U.S. in 2008 and Anna Chapman, said to have an English husband, moved to the U.S. in February of this year.

The FBI announced the arrests of 10 suspects Monday after tracking them for years. They are accused of attempting to infiltrate U.S. policymaking circles while posing as ordinary citizens. An 11th person allegedly also involved in the Russian spy ring was arrested Tuesday in Cyprus.

Reuters, AFP and The Associated Press contributed to this report.