Russia govt expels second-highest-ranking US official in Moscow
The Russian government expelled the second-highest-ranking American official from the US Embassy in Moscow, Bart Gorman. Gorman is the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy.
Earlier, President Biden had warned that the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine remains “very high.”
Gorman was ordered to leave in response to the “unjustified” expulsion of the minister-counselor of the Russian Embassy in Washington, Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Thursday.
The ministry added that the US Department of State “defiantly” ignored Moscow’s request to extend the Russian diplomat’s stay at least until the arrival of his successor.
The minister-counsellor’s forced departure without a replacement aggravated the already critical shortage of personnel in the Russian diplomatic mission amid a “visa war” initiated by the Americans, Zakharova stressed.
She recalled that the US has demanded the departure of 55 Russian diplomats as well as administrative and technical employees in two stages — by January 30 and June 30 this year.
“In the understanding of the US administration, the normalization of bilateral relations is a one-way street, where only American interests are ensured and everything else is ignored,” Zakharova said.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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