Ambassador Antonov said that the Russian embassy was almost blockaded by US authorities, while diplomats received many threats.
“The Russian embassy was basically blocked by US government agencies. The accounts of the consulates in Houston and New York were blocked by Bank of America. We received a series of phone threats over the phone. and letters. At times the entrance to the embassy was also blocked,” said Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov today.
Ambassador Antonov said the US has repeatedly expelled Russian diplomats, refused to renew work permits for embassy staff and stopped issuing visas for replacements. This makes the number of Russian diplomats in the US significantly reduced, of which only two work at the consulate in Houston and five in New York.
The Russian embassy in Washington, which normally does not employ Americans, currently has about 170 diplomats and staff members. Embassy officials estimate that since May 2021, about 100 employees have been deported or will soon be deported. More than 20 employees, including the chef, will have to leave the US at the end of June.
Ambassador Antonov said last week that the Russian embassy still maintains contact with the administration of President Joe Biden but only at a low level. He expressed concern about not having contact with senior administration officials, saying that since President Biden took office, he had sent letters to US congressmen asking to meet but was rejected.
The United States and its allies did not cut diplomatic ties with Russia after Moscow launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, but imposed a series of sanctions and restrictions on Russian individuals and the economy. .
The US late last month expelled 12 Russian diplomats in early March on charges of “intelligence activities”. Ambassador Antonov called this a “hostile move” and denied the accusations, while Moscow also ordered the expulsion of 12 Washington diplomats in response.
Vu Anh (According to Ria Novosti)