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MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. Russian diplomats and members of their families are subject to threats from American security services, the Russian Foreign Ministry quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov as saying in response to US Department of State’s allegations about harassment against US diplomats working in Russia.
Against the background of "repeatedly replicated unsubstantiated complaints from the Department of State, the situation around Russian diplomats in the US is indeed getting more and more complicated," Ryabkov said.
"In the past two-and-a-half years, attempts to recruit our personnel have become visibly more frequent, and American security services descend to most unpleasant methods of pressure, up to threats to the heath of family members," he said.
"The normal functioning of our diplomatic missions is prevented through artificial difficulties to official contacts, other far-fetched restrictions," he added.
The top diplomat drew attention to the "Washington’s recent move to tighten the regime of travels of Russian officials inside the US". "Now the overwhelming majority of our representatives need to inform the Department of State beforehand of their itinerary, without which it is impossible to go anywhere," he explained. "This is at variance with the jointly coordinated rules that have been in place for almost quarter of a century".
"This will result in a further worsening of conditions for the development of ties, will undermine possibilities for bilateral cooperation," Ryabkov said. "Unfortunately, this is what the administration of Barack Obama is purposefully doing to the accompaniment of unbridled anti-Russian propaganda, especially since the odious "Magnitsky Act" on sanctions was passed in 2012," he said. However, the Washington officials will fail to shift the blame," he added.
The diplomat dismissed the US State Department’s allegations about harassment of American diplomats in Russia.
"The US Department of State has again put on a scratched record about alleged ‘harassment’ of American diplomats in our country probably in revenge for Russia’s principled position in favor the soonest reestablishment of peace in Syria which is being torn by externally sponsored terrorist groups," the diplomat said. "As we have said many times before, such allegations have nothing to do with the real state of things and as a matter of fact are just an attempt to divert attention from Washington’s own shady ventures, including in respect of Russian citizens. We mean for instance the ongoing practice of abduction of Russian nationals by American security services across the globe and flagrant cases of whitewashing murderers of adopted children from Russia."
"Outbursts of publicly displayed care about their representatives are obviously meant by the US administration to disguise the active spying activities conducted under diplomatic cover for instance, by officers the US defense attache office, who keep on travelling Russian regions where they are annoyingly prying around our army facilities."
The Russian diplomat expressed indignation over the "exhumed allegations" of an attempted poisoning of two members of an American delegation over their stay at an international conference in St. Petersburg about two years ago. "Back then, having immediately reacted to the corresponding information from the US embassy, we asked them to specify their claims but received nothing, not even the names of the ‘victims,’" he said. "The Russian side’s check exposed that neither of the Americans had sought help with Petersburg’s medical establishments. And if they had had a glass too much at the hotel bar, it’s their own problem."