Today: April 20, 2024
Today: April 20, 2024

Russia says Western ambassadors are meddling in Russia's affairs

Share This
Reuters
Guy Faulconbridge
March 05, 2024

By Guy Faulconbridge

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's foreign ministry on Tuesday accused Western ambassadors in Moscow of meddling in Russia's internal affairs and said their behaviour raised questions about the point of such envoys.

The war in Ukraine has triggered the deepest crisis in Russia's relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and President Vladimir Putin has warned the West that it risks provoking a nuclear war if Western troops are sent to fight in Ukraine.

Russia was dismayed by what Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on March 4 was a refusal by European Union ambassadors to meet him for a conversation ahead of Russia's March 15-17 presidential election.

There was no immediate reaction to Lavrov's statement from the Western ambassadors.

Asked by Russian state television anchor Vladimir Solovyov if the EU ambassadors understood their function, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said their refusal to meet Lavrov raised questions about their role.

"The question indeed arises among everyone: what are they doing, and why, how do they interpret their conduct on the territory of our country if they do not perform their most important function?" Zakharova said.

Solovyov noted that EU ambassadors attended the March 1 funeral of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, whom he cast as their agent. Navalny, whose death at an Arctic prison colony was announced on Feb. 16, always denied he was a Western agent.

Zakharova said such behaviour showed Western ambassadors in Moscow were meddling in Russia's affairs and putting on "performances" rather than doing their diplomatic work.

The banner headline on Solovyov's television show read: "Should the EU ambassadors be sent out?"

WARNING TO BERLIN

The West is grappling with what support it will give to Kyiv after Russian forces regained the initiative on the battlefield after a failed Ukrainian counteroffensive last year.

Russian media last week published an audio recording of a meeting of senior German military officials held by Webex discussing weapons for Ukraine and a potential strike by Kyiv on a bridge in Crimea.

Russia summoned Germany's ambassador to the foreign ministry on Monday, demanding clarification of the conversations and the assistance given to Ukraine to strike Russian targets.

The ambassador, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, was also scolded over what Moscow said were attempts by Berlin to restrict the activities of Russian journalists in Germany, according to the Russian foreign ministry.

"If they touch Russian correspondents and bring their plans to conclusion, German journalists will leave Russia," Zakharova said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Popular

Live video of man who set himself on fire outside court proves challenging for news organizations

A man who set himself on fire outside the Manhattan courtroom where Donald Trump was on trial tested news organizations on how quickly they could respond to an incident and what to show viewers

Mandisa, Grammy-winning singer and 'American Idol' alum, dies at 47

Contemporary Christian singer Mandisa, who appeared on “American Idol” and won a Grammy for her 2013 album “Overcomer,” has died

Coyotes' move to Salt Lake City elicits opposing responses in 2 cities

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sat next to the former Arizona Coyotes owner in a downtown Phoenix hotel meeting room, trying to put a positive spin on the funeral for a franchise

Taylor Swift drops 15 new songs on double album, 'The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology'

Could there be a Taylor Swift new album rollout without a few additional surprises

Related

US says a UN agency has agreed to help in distribution of aid to Gaza via sea route

Iran's foreign minister downplays drone attack, says Tehran investigating

Iran says it will respond at 'maximum level' if Israel acts against its interests

Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department' is here. Is it poetry? This is what experts say

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer