13:08 Jun. 28, 2016
Secretary John Kerry raised this issue with Russian President Putin - US State Department
Elizabeth Trudeau, Director of the U.S. State Department's Office of Press Relations, said that Russian security services and traffic police harass and pursue U.S. diplomats in Moscow.
This is stated in a report published on Tuesday, June 28, at the State Department website.
According to Trudeau, a number of similar incidents in Moscow increased dramatically over the past two years. She added that the U.S. will respond in accordance with international law.
Elizabeth Trudeau: "Over the past two years, harassment and surveillance of our diplomatic personnel in Moscow by security personnel and traffic police have increased significantly. Other western embassies have reported the same thing. The safety and well-being of our diplomatic and consular personnel abroad and their accompanying family members are things we take very seriously. We have raised and we will continue to raise at the highest level any incidents inconsistent with protections guaranteed by international law, and we will respond appropriately in accordance with U.S. and international law".
On June 27 Washington Post wrote that "Russian intelligence and security services have been waging a campaign of harassment and intimidation against U.S. diplomats, embassy staff and their families in Moscow and several other European capitals that has rattled ambassadors and prompted Secretary of State John F. Kerry to ask Vladimir Putin to put a stop to it".
Elizabeth Trudeau said in her statement that "Secretary Kerry has raised this with President Putin".
A Russian policeman stands in front of an entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the background in downtown Moscow, Russia, on May 14, 2013 (AP Photo)
Washington Post wrote: "At a recent meeting of U.S. ambassadors from Russia and Europe in Washington, U.S. ambassadors to several European countries complained that Russian intelligence officials were constantly perpetrating acts of harassment against their diplomatic staff that ranged from the weird to the downright scary. Some of the intimidation has been routine: following diplomats or their family members, showing up at their social events uninvited or paying reporters to write negative stories about them.
But many of the recent acts of intimidation by Russian security services have crossed the line into apparent criminality. In a series of secret memos sent back to Washington, described to me by several current and former U.S. officials who have written or read them, diplomats reported that Russian intruders had broken into their homes late at night, only to rearrange the furniture or turn on all the lights and televisions, and then leave. One diplomat reported that an intruder had defecated on his living room carpet.
In Moscow, where the harassment is most pervasive, diplomats reported slashed tires and regular harassment by traffic police".
The U.S. refused to renew former relations with Russia over the situation in eastern Ukraine. On March 3 2016, President Barack Obama extended sanctions against Russia — imposed by Washington in 2014 in response to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine crisis - for another year.