Russia deported the second man from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow on Thursday. The State Department in Washington sees the unprovoked measure, according to them, as an “escalating step”. The two countries are diametrically opposed to each other in the Ukrainian crisis.
The reason for the expulsion of vice ambassador Bartle Gorman is still unclear. He left Russia last week, according to a US source.
The two countries have been clashing over staff at their embassies for a long time. Moscow said late last year that employees who have been at their posts for more than three years should return home. Gorman had not been there for long and had a valid visa, according to a spokesman for the US State Department.
The White House called on Russia to end the “unfounded expulsions” of diplomats and associates. “It is more crucial than ever before that our countries have the necessary personnel on the ground to facilitate contact between our governments.”
US reiterates invasion is imminent
The relationship between Russia and the United States is at an all-time low due to rising tensions around Ukraine.
Russia currently has an estimated force of 130,000 to 150,000 troops on standby on Ukraine’s borders. Moscow announced a withdrawal earlier this week, without mentioning numbers. Analysts say there is no sign of military withdrawal.
The U.S. reiterated Thursday’s estimation that Russia could invade Ukraine at any moment. According to US President Joe Biden, the Russians are looking for an excuse.
Western allies warn that reports of artillery shelling in the East Ukrainian Donbas region may be part of a’ false flag operation ‘ to justify military action.