Updates: 16.04.2021 20:48
Published: 16.04.2021, 18:48
MOSCOW – Russia is considering deporting ten US ambassadors and retaliating against Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today. He also advised the US ambassador to “return home for consultations”. According to Russian diplomacy, Moscow will expel five ambassadors from Poland in response to a similar move by Warsaw. It also released a list of eight former and current leading US officials’ sanctions, according to foreign news agencies.
“We have received a list of ten ambassadors to leave the United States. We will respond to this action and ask ten US diplomats in Russia to leave our country,” Lavrova was quoted as saying.
The United States intervened in last year’s presidential election and on Thursday launched a series of actions to punish Russia for cyber attacks on US government institutions, aggression against Ukraine and other harmful behavior. In addition to expelling ten Russian diplomats, Washington has announced sanctions on nearly forty individuals and companies.
Moscow today banned eight current and former U.S. officials from entering its territory. Christopher Ware, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Avril Hines, director of the Secret Service (DNI); James Woolsey, adviser and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Russia’s Secretary of State has also called for retaliation, including the tightening of restrictions on the movement of US diplomats into Russia.
“Further action: We will limit the activities of US bases and NGOs in our region, which are clearly interfering in our domestic political life,” Lavrov added. The head of diplomacy also promised Moscow that “American companies have the opportunity to take painful action,” but will keep them in reserve for now.
According to Lavrov, Russia has “instructed” the US ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, to return to Washington for “in-depth and serious consultations.” Sullivan’s Russian envoy, Anatoly Antonov, was summoned back to Moscow on March 17, the AFP recalled.
In addition to the United States, retaliation will affect Poland, which on Thursday expressed solidarity with the United States and expelled three Russian ambassadors who, according to Warsaw, harmed its interests.
“We have noticed how quickly Warsaw has joined the US administration and asked three Russian diplomats to leave. In response, we will expel five Polish ambassadors,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The DPA initially reported on three deported Polish ambassadors.
Despite the bad relations, US President Joe Biden proposed a summit in the neutral territory to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin this week. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement today that it is “positive” about the plan and is considering it.
“We have heard statements by President J. Biden about his ‘stable, constructive and predictable’ relations with Russia, especially his interest in the organization of the Russia-US summit,” Russian diplomacy said.