VLADIVOSTOK, December 30. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has been surprised to hear from the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station that he had allegedly asked US State Secretary Rex Tillerson to help prevent the renaming of a street opposite Russia’s Embassy in Washington, Lavrov said in an interview with the Russian NTV channel.
"Not long ago, the respected media outlet - Echo Moskvy - claimed that I had begged US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson not to name part of the street outside Russia’s embassy in Washington as Nemtsov Square," Lavrov said.
"I have never discussed the issue with whoever. The fact that Ekho Moskvy has released this ‘information’ is not surprising to me," he said. "People who view themselves as trustworthy journalists could have just phoned the Foreign Ministry to find out whether it is so or not."
"They claim they have been told by the State Department. Then all the other sources should be shut down. There is the State Department and let’s call it quits," the Russian foreign minister added.
Earlier, Washington’s city council unanimously backed the bill on renaming a block outside Russia’s embassy in honor of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov.
Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister under then-President Boris Yeltsin, co-chairman of the Parnas political party and lawmaker from the Yaroslavl regional legislature, was gunned down in downtown Moscow on February 27, 2015. Five individuals were arrested on suspicion of murdering the politician: Zaur Dadayev, Anzor and Shadid Gubashev, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev. Another suspect, Beslan Shavanov, resisted police and blew himself up.
According to investigators, Ruslan Mukhudinov, a former officer of the Chechen Sever (or North) battalion, is the mastermind and organizer of the murder. Mukhudinov was charged in absentia. He has been on an international wanted list since November 2015.