Russia threatens U.S. diplomats and embassy staff

Author: us-russia
Comments: 0
Russia threatens U.S. diplomats and embassy staff
Published 12-08-2017, 07:00

Joel Gehrke

Joel is a foreign affairs reporter for the Washington Examiner. He previously was on the congressional beat at National Review Online and prior to that was a commentary writer for the Examiner.

U.S. diplomats and embassy staff risk punishment if they "meddl[e]" in upcoming Russian elections, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

"I am unaware of the U.S. Embassy's plans, but there were many incidents when American diplomats were involved in illegal activities," Lavrov said Friday at a youth forum. "Our relevant services should take appropriate measures."

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his team have accused the U.S. for years of interfering in their elections, most notably blaming then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of stoking protests against election fraud in 2011. Lavrov complained in particular the State Department had tried to "conduct opinion polls" in the run-up to past Russian elections.

"They probably do not consider this to be meddling, because they are allowed to do anything, and that's in their blood," Lavrov said, per TASS, a state-run media outlet. "However, if this happens, we have our own laws, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which says explicitly and specifically what diplomats can do and what they cannot do. ... We will be guided by it and by our laws."

Putin was motivated to interfere in the 2016 election in part to retaliate against Clinton's criticism of Russia's campaigns, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

"Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him," the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported in January.

Lavrov said accusations of Russian interference remain "unsubstantiated," but he suggested that the development of the controversy will shape Russia's attitude toward American diplomats during their elections.

"I hope that ... the acuteness of the issue for the American establishment will make them think twice," he said.

 

washingtonexaminer.com

Comments: 0
Experts' Panel
Any advice to Trump?
All those who have contributed to the Trump - Pence "Make America...
Any advice to Trump?
Top
popular in the journal
Lavrov, Tillerson Meet on...

Lavrov, Tillerson Meet on...

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson started their meeting in Manila on the sidelines of the ASEAN forum, a Sputnik ...
Any advice to Trump?

Any advice to Trump?

All those who have contributed to the Trump - Pence "Make America Great Again" campaign are getting two or three messages per day from them complaining about their ...
Russia\

Russia\'s Kaspersky Lab Launches...

Russian software developer Kaspersky Lab announced the worldwide launch of a free antivirus.
Dalai Lama\

Dalai Lama\'s Secret Dream: NATO...

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has recently shared his vision of NATO headquarters being relocated to Moscow, thus making Russia and the US allies.
CrossTalk: Bullhorns: Sanctions War

CrossTalk: Bullhorns: Sanctions War

It is time to speak the obvious: Cold War 2.0 is officially on. Though this Cold War is different and possibly far more dangerous. The world is in uncharted waters as ...