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Two CIA officials working for U.S. Embassy declared persona non grata
Moscow warns Washington further escalation of bilateral relations will not remain unanswered, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.
On July 6, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the U.S. media unfolded a campaign to make an enemy out of Russia. "A simple incident from the life of an ordinary CIA official was turned by our American colleagues into an attack by a Russian policeman on an inoffensive American diplomat. We have outlined all facts, everyone may make their own conclusions," she said.
Earlier she explained that in reality, overnight to June 6, a taxi drove over to the U.S. embassy compound, and an unknown man in a hat that closed his face ran out of it and ran to the entrance. The Russian policeman on duty there wanted to check the ID of the suspicious person to make sure he presents no threat to the diplomatic mission.
However, the man, instead of showing his ID, hit the police officer with an elbow in the face, pushed him out of the way and hid in the embassy, she said.
"A video of that incident was broadcasted on July 7 by the NTV channel and speaks for itself - in the middle of the night some man wearing a hat pulled on his eyes, though it is summer, rushes from a taxi to the embassy entrance without any attempts to present a pass," the Russian deputy foreign minister said. "Then, as the police on guard in order to prevent any threat for the diplomatic mission from the stranger, hurries to the person, the man gives him a punch by elbow into the face, thus actually committing a crime."
"No matter how complicated it is to reject the evident, the Department of State continues doing so, trying in vain to make the best of a bad bargain," he continued. "Moreover, Washington even more affects the atmosphere of the bilateral relations, which Barack Obama's Administration has been ruining persistently for more than two years now, including by the attempts to fail our economy and by military threats."
Earlier, the U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said "On the 6th of June, an accredited U.S. diplomat, who identified himself in accordance with embassy protocols, entering the American embassy compound was attacked by a Russian policeman. The action was unprovoked and it endangered the safety of our employee."
"The Russian claim the policeman was protecting the embassy from an unidentified individual is simply untrue," the allegation said.
The Russian deputy foreign minister continued by saying "to say nothing about the permanent pressure on staff of our diplomatic missions, and not only in the U.S. - we know fairly well (we receive this information from our counterparts) about the U.S. pressing other countries to make them participate in provocations against us."
The diplomat confirmed that in reference to the above described incident, the U.S. authorities "really demanded two officials of the Russian embassy left Washington, though they were not presented any claims."
"Noteworthy, the Department of State at a high level suggested we do not make this fact public," he said. "Clearly, keeping word is not a habit with the U.S. diplomats."
"Since the U.S. counterparts have been so sincere, I should add, following their unfriendly activities, two staff members of the U.S. Embassy had to leave Moscow," he said. "They were declared 'persona non grata' for the activities non-conforming to the diplomatic status."
"That is that very night hooligan (CIA staff member, who punched Russian police at entrance to the U.S. embassy - TASS) and another similar CIA operative."
Moscow hopes "Washington sill will be able to realize depravity of the aggressive anti-Russian line," he said. "But if they decide to follow the way of escalation, they will not be left without response.".
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 09Jul16]
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