US diplomats in Russia say surveillance of their actions has increased

The incidence of American diplomats coming under surveillance in Russia has become considerably more frequent, said State Department spokesman, Elizabeth Trudeau, at a briefing in Washington. According to her, the Department is concerned about how the staff of U.S. diplomatic missions have been treated by Russian authorities over the past two years, the BBC reports.

In addition, reporters asked her to comment on the statement by Radio Liberty that last year, paralyzing drugs were poured into the drinks of two American diplomats at a conference in St. Petersburg. In its report, Radio Liberty referred to anonymous sources which allegedly claim that the poisoning was not divulged at the time, and that the U.S. State Department only sent a so-called "silent protest" to Russia. Elizabeth Trudeau declined to comment on these statements, neither confirming nor denying them.

In early June, there was also an incident involving an American diplomat near the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. The State Department reported that their employee was subjected to an unprovoked attack.

This event became known after the Washington Post’s publication on June 29. The newspaper reported that on June 6th, Russian guards at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow assaulted an American diplomat who tried to enter the building; the diplomat suffered a broken shoulder in the attack. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the information provided in the Washington Post was “not only distorted, but was also contrary to the actual facts." According to the Ministry, the American was actually a CIA agent, returning from an intelligence operation, and initiated the attack.

As a result of this incident, the U.S. expelled two Russian diplomats. In response, Moscow expelled two employees of the American diplomatic mission.

  Russia, USA