Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov stated in an interview with journalists that American special services have rapidly increased their efforts in recent days to sway and corrupt Russian diplomats leaving America, TASS reports.
“We know the ways and means of American special services who try to establish informal… relations with our diplomats, the true purpose of which would be to persuade them to betray their country,” the diplomat said. Antonov stressed that the recent attempts are not new and that he had reported the previous attempts to Moscow.
In addition, the head of the diplomatic mission stated that Russian diplomats were to leave the United States on March 31, and that for this purpose, the Russian Foreign Ministry had dispatched two planes to bring them back. Counting family members, there will be 171 people leaving the United States.
The United States announced the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats on March 26: forty-six persons from the Embassy in Washington, two from the General Consulate in New York and twelve employees from the Permanent Representative Office of Russia to the United Nations.
Washington made this decision following the attempted assassination of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter by way of poisoning, which the United Kingdom blames on Russia. Moscow has refuted all allegations.