Russia expels U.S. Embassy press secretary
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow’s spokeswoman, Rebecca Ross, is listed among the ten diplomats to be expelled from Russia, reports the business newspaper Kommersant.
Russia announced the expulsion of the American diplomats on April 21, giving them one month to leave the country.
An unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry source told Kommersant that the expulsions were in response to the U.S. preventing Russia from appointing a press secretary for its embassy in Washington for more than six months.
“They [the Americans] aren’t allowing the person we appointed to the post of press secretary of our diplomatic mission into Washington, moreover, without [giving] any reasoning. This is a diplomat with extensive experience, who previously held similar positions in two other Russian embassies. The United States simply returned the documents this person submitted for a visa, without even commenting on the reason for their refusal. So this isn’t a Russian initiative.”
Ross herself confirmed her expulsion from Russia in a comment to the Russian state news agency TASS.
Moscow’s expulsion of 10 American diplomats came in response to new U.S. sanctions. Russia also banned the U.S. diplomatic mission from hiring citizens of Russia and third countries as administrative and technical staff. The U.S. ambassador was also invited to return to his home country “to analyze the situation and conduct consultations.”