WASHINGTON, November 30. / TASS /. The US State Department is trying to deceive the international public by deliberately distorting the facts about the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in Washington on Monday.
Asked about the statement by Deputy State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter, who said that the departure of 55 Russian diplomats from the United States could not be considered deportation or a punitive measure, Antonov said: “ The State Department is tricky again. The American side is trying to deceive the American and international public, by deliberately distorting the facts. “
The US State Department has made it clear that if this request is refused, the immunity and other diplomatic privileges of Russian employees will be revoked, the diplomat noted. “The claim that the departure of 55 Russian diplomats cannot be considered expulsion also raises the question. diplomatic privileges of Russian employees will be de facto expulsion, ”he stressed.
“It was notably the State Department that in December 2020 unilaterally introduced a three-year limit on long-term assignments for employees of the Embassy in Washington, DC and the Russian Consulates General in New York and Houston. Please note that other diplomats on missions have a five-year tour limit, ”the ambassador said.
According to Antonov, “the United States is trying to limit the sovereign right of the Russian Federation to make staffing decisions with respect to its diplomatic missions at its own discretion.”
Porter noted that Washington makes the same demands of Russian diplomats as Moscow makes of US diplomats. She added that the United States would continue to discuss the matter with Russia.