tit for tat expulsions

Russia expels two US diplomats in ‘tit-for-tat’ move
Reuters, Jul 10 2016

Russia has said it expelled two US Embassy staff members in a retaliatory move after a similar action by Washington last month. the foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday, citing Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. One of the expelled diplomats was involved in an incident with a Russian policeman near the US Embassy entrance in Moscow, Ryabkov said, also claiming that both expelled diplomats were CIA agents. He said on “the tit-for-tat expulsions”:

After their unfriendly step, two employees of the US Embassy had to leave Moscow. They were declared personae non grata for activities incompatible with their diplomatic status. We hope Washington recognises all the same the perversity of its anti-Russian line. If they decide there to move further along the path of escalation it will not remain unanswered.

The Pindo State Dept on Friday announced::

On Jun 6, a Russian policeman attacked an accredited Pindo diplomat while entering the Pindo embassy compound, after the official identified himself. On Jun 17, we expelled two Russian officials from Pindostan to respond to this attack.

Moscow disputes this version of events and insists the diplomat was a CIA agent who attacked the policeman as he tried to stop him to check his ID as he returned from a spying mission in the city.

Russian TV Shows Pindo Diplomat Decked by Embassy Policeman
Jake Rudnitsky, Bloomberg, Jul 7 2016

Russian television broadcast footage of a policeman tackling a man the report said was an undercover CIA agent trying to enter the Pindo embassy in Moscow without identifying himself. In the grainy, approximately 15-second clip, the man exits a taxi and is almost immediately tackled by a policeman who emerges from a guard box and wrestles him to the ground. In the ensuing struggle, the man manages to push himself through a door into the embassy compound, while the officer attempts to pin him down. The incident, which took place at night on June 6, was caught on a security camera, according to the report shown Thursday on Russia’s NTV channel. The channel didn’t describe how it obtained the footage. Pindo-Russian relations have deteriorated to a level not seen since the Cold War as the two powers find themselves on opposite sides of conflicts from Ukraine to Syria. The footage of the skirmish contradicts a version of the incident given by the Russian Foreign Ministry, whose spox Maria Zakharova, said in a website statement Jun 30 that the diplomat punched the police officer after he was stopped and asked for identification. A spokesman for the Pindo Embassy in Moscow declined to comment on the confrontation, which was first reported in the WaPo on Jun 29. The newspaper said that the guard was a member of the FSB. Harassment of Pindo diplomats in Moscow has increased significantly over the last two years, State Dept spox Elizabeth Trudeau said in a Jun 27 press briefing. Jackass Kerry has raised the issue with Putin, she said. Russia, which said the Pindo diplomat involved in the incident was an undercover CIA agent, accused Washington of “disinformation” and seeking to spoil mutual relations with a “provocation.” The Foreign Ministry’s statement warned that “nothing good” would come from this approach.

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