Moscow, without elaborating, said Bartel Gorman was expelled in response to an earlier order to leave a Russian adviser in Washington. A US source said Deputy Ambassador Gorman left Russia last week. Relations between Russia and the United States are at an all-time low. The US government warns almost daily of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The two superpowers had been at odds with each other for some time due to the personnel in their respective embassies. Moscow said late last year that employees who have been in their posts for more than three years should go home. A State Department spokesperson said Gorman was there for a shorter period of time and had a valid visa.
The White House called on Russia to end its “baseless expulsions” of diplomats and aides. “Now more than ever, it is critical that our countries have the necessary personnel on the ground to facilitate communication between our governments.”
France, Germany and several other European countries warned Russia on Thursday of dire consequences if it moved to Ukraine. “We affirm that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have dire consequences and will entail unprecedented costs,” said a joint statement issued by the two countries, also signed by Estonia, Norway, Albania and the European Union delegation to the United States.
The signatories are deeply concerned about the stationing of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border. “We regret that Russia has not yet provided a satisfactory explanation” for the troop increase, German Ambassador Antje Linderzi to the United Nations told the Security Council meeting.
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