The United States failed to justify the decision to expel two diplomats of the Russian diplomatic corps in Washington, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on October 6.
According to the ambassador, the United States assured Russia that it was not going to advertise in the media the story of declaring two Russian Foreign Ministry employees in Washington persona non grata. As it turned out, Antonov noted, this was another deception on the part of the State Department.
“We were again misled, contrary to the elementary norms of diplomatic communication. Administration [США] it is important to show that the recent expulsion of American diplomats from Russia for subversive activities did not go unanswered,” Antonov was quoted as saying by the Teleram channel of the Russian Embassy in the United States.
The diplomat also added that when he asked to explain the reasons for the expulsion of his colleagues from the country, the State Department could not provide arguments.
“Unless this is a reference to the fact that, they say, the authorities of the host country are not obliged to explain anything. Thus, in fact, we are dealing with banal revenge, which does not honor American diplomacy,” he added.
Antonov explained that the decision to announce two diplomats at the American Embassy in Moscow was justified, since the employees were engaged in activities that cannot be correlated with diplomatic work.
“The expelled Americans, in essence, were interfering in internal affairs and trying to harm Russia’s national security. Any actions of this kind will be resolutely suppressed and will receive an adequate response,” the ambassador concluded.
Earlier, on September 22, the first secretary of the US embassy in Moscow, Jeffrey Sillin, and the second secretary of the American embassy, David Bernstein, were expelled from Russia; they were declared persona non grata on September 14.
It was noted that Sillin and Bernstein conducted illegal activities by maintaining contact with Russian citizen Robert Shonov, accused of “confidential cooperation” with a foreign state, who was given tasks for damage to Russia’s national security for a monetary reward.