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Stubb: "You shouldn't spy on your buddies."

Finland's Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb said Sunday that allegations that the US has bugged and hacked European Union offices came as a complete surprise. However, the claims, he added, should not be allow to delay scheduled free trade talks.

Eurooppa-ministeri Alexander Stubb Brysselissä Eu:n yleisten asioiden neuvoston kokouksessa 15. marraskuuta 2011.
Alexander Stubb. Image: Olivier Hoslet / EPA

Stubb considers the claims to be a serious matter.

"You shouldn't spy on your buddies," he said in an interview with Yle.

European Parliament Deputy Speaker Isabelle Durant on Sunday raised the prospect of putting off scheduled free trade talks between the US and the EU because of the spying allegations.

"In the free trade negotiations we know precisely what we think of each other and what our positions are. This is a matter of trust. If trust is broken, the consequences are serious," stated Stubb.

However, the Finnish European Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister was reluctant to consider postponing the talks.

"First it should be determined what has actually happened. Free trade talks largely follow their own path. Negotiations are carried out largely on the basis of openly available information," Stubb pointed out.

If, however, the allegations of US spying are true, according to Alexander Stubb, the matter affects Finland, as well.

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