White House: Spy arrests won't hurt U.S.-Russia relations

The arrests of as many as 11 alleged Russian spies in the U.S. will not disrupt U.S.-Russian relations, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

Gibbs referred most questions regarding the arrests to the State Department, but he did say the arrests will do nothing to damage "our moves to reset the relationship."

The arrests come just days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Obama in Washington, D.C., where the two men shared a hamburger lunch and boasted of a strong relationship between the two countries.

Gibbs said the president was briefed throughout the investigation, but he would not say whether Obama approved of the timing of the arrests.

FBI officials have reportedly said the timing of the arrests came from fear that one of the suspects would try to flee.

Gibbs said Obama had "no personal reaction" to the arrests, and he thought that law enforcement acted in "a timely manner."

"This was a law enforcement issue, and law enforcement acted appropriately," Gibbs said.