Zakharova: Moscow expelled US Deputy Ambassador in response to the expulsion of a Russian diplomat According to Zakharova, the State Department previously expelled a Russian diplomat, and also “defiantly ignored” Moscow's request to extend his stay at least until the “replacement” arrived
Moscow ordered US Deputy Ambassador Bartle Gorman to leave Russia in response to Washington's expulsion of the Russian embassy's envoy adviser. This was stated by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova.
“The American diplomat was indeed ordered to leave Russia, but strictly in response to the unjustified expulsion of the advisor-envoy of our embassy in Washington, despite his status as a leading worker,”&mdash ; said in a statement by Zakharova.
According to her, the State Department “ostentatiously ignored” Moscow's appeal with a request to extend the stay of the Russian diplomat at least until the arrival of the “replacement”. “As a result, he was forced to leave without a replacement, which aggravated the already critical personnel shortage in the Russian diplomatic mission, formed as a result of the “visa war” unleashed by the Americans, — she noted.
Zakharova also indicated that it was the American side that initiated the next expulsion exchange in September 2021, demanding the departure of 55 Russian diplomats and administrative and technical staff in two stages— until January 30 and June 30 of the current year. “All attempts on our part to resolve the issue by” freezing ” expulsions on a reciprocal basis were rejected. Moreover, under this, in fact, sanctions measure, the State Department brought the Russian envoy adviser, although they were well aware that a mirror response would follow in relation to Bart Gorman, — said a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The expulsion from Russia of US Deputy Ambassador to Moscow Gorman became known earlier on February 17. The US embassy told RBC that such steps are escalatory and threatened with a quick response. “Russia's actions against our Deputy Chief of Mission were unprovoked and we consider this an escalatory move and are considering our response. <…> We call on Russia to stop the unjustified expulsions of US diplomats and staff and to work productively to restore our missions,— The diplomatic mission said in a statement.
The American embassy also noted that the expulsion of the diplomat is unreasonable, since he has a valid visa and his stay in the country has not exceeded three years.
Gorman's page on the embassy website says the diplomat is “responsible for key aspects of US-Russian relations.” From 2017 to 2019, Gorman served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Assistant Director of Threat Investigation and Analysis for the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. From 2014 to 2016, he was Chief of Security for the US Mission in Moscow, having previously worked at the US Embassy in Baghdad and Amman, Jordan.
Tensions in diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States have been ongoing since 2016, when, by order of former US President Barack Obama, two country residences of Russian diplomats in New York and Maryland were blocked, and 35 Russian diplomats were expelled from the country. Under the next US President Donald Trump, the Russian consulates in San Francisco, Seattle and New York, as well as Russian trade missions, were closed.
In Russia, the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok later closed, and the US Embassy in Russia also suspended the use of warehouse space on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow and a dacha in Serebryany Bor. In addition, the Kremlin has included the United States in the list of unfriendly countries and banned the hiring of Russian employees or citizens of other countries in representative offices in Russia. After that, Washington reduced more than 180 employees in diplomatic missions in Moscow, Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg.
At the end of October 2021, Zakharova announced that the United States demanded the departure of 55 more Russian diplomats and administrative and technical workers of diplomatic missions. According to her, Washington provides journalists with incorrect information that there are “four times more” Russian diplomats in the United States than American ones. in Russia.
In turn, the US State Department argued that the forthcoming departure of diplomats cannot be regarded as an expulsion. “These procedures are not punitive, but they were introduced to ensure parity between the US and Russian diplomatic missions,” explained the deputy head of the press service of the department, Jalin Porter.
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