According to the State Department, the Kremlin has expelled the second-highest-ranked US diplomat from the US Embassy in Moscow.
A State Department spokesperson told the press that Bart Gorman, Deputy Chief of Mission to Russia, was expelled from Moscow on Thursday.
“Russia’s actions against” [Gorman] This is an escalating step and we are considering what we can do, as we were not provoked, “said a spokesman.
A spokeswoman told the press that Gorman has a valid visa and has been in Russia for less than three years.
A State Department spokesman continued, “I urge Russia to work productively to end the unfounded expulsion of US diplomats and staff and rebuild our mission.” “More than ever, it is important for our country to have the diplomatic personnel needed to facilitate communication between our governments.”
Jason Lebholtz, a spokesman for the US Embassy in Moscow Verified News of comments to the Russian outlet RIA Novosti.
“Gorman was the second highest official at the US Embassy in Washington, Moscow, after the ambassador and key members of the embassy’s top management,” he said Thursday.
“Russia demands that American diplomats leave long before the end of their three-year stay, and [it] Give them a two-week vacation, which we call a similar measure. But this is not the same, “Rebholtz said of Gorman’s departure.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has not publicly commented on Gorman’s resignation.
The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC has not responded to requests for comment. The Epoch Times also contacted the State Department for additional comments.
Gorman’s expulsion arose as the United States continued to warn of the possibility of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with troops reportedly strengthened along the border between the two countries. President Joe Biden told reporters Thursday morning that Russia is “very likely” to attack, although Russia has categorically denied the press.
“We have a reason to believe that they are engaged in a false flag operation,” Biden said. “All the signs we have are that they are ready to go to Ukraine.”
Tensions reached a new level even after the bombardment was reported in the Donbas region of Ukraine. This is a conflict area dominated by separatists. Both sides accused each other of bombarding villages in the area, including reports that a kindergarten was attacked.
Ukrainian officials and rebels gave conflicting explanations of bombarding across the front of the Donbas separatist region. Details could not be established independently, but reports from both sides suggested a more serious incident than the usual ceasefire violations reported regularly in the region.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was “seriously concerned” about the escalation report.
On Thursday, Peskov told the state TASS The report that Russia claims to attack Ukraine on February 20 was false and again criticized the Western media.
“It looks like another fake was made. At least I hope you and I don’t trust such falsehoods,” he said, “there were many dates, and there were much more specific dates. I added.
“Everything turned out to be false and irresponsible fake, but in the end none of their authors admitted that they were wrong,” Peskov continued.
Also on Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry believes that the United States and NATO “did not make a constructive response to the basic elements of the draft treaty with the United States prepared by the Russian side on security.” Issued a statement above. In other words, Ukraine cannot join NATO.
The ministry also argued that “the expansion of US and NATO military operations directly at the Russian border is alarming.”
Reuters contributed to this report.