Washington, July 9 (ANI
): The United States has expelled two Russian diplomats in response to an attack on an American diplomat in Moscow.
U.S. State department Spokesperson John Kirby
said both officials were expelled June 17. He didn't immediately provide additional information.
Kirby said the attack of American was "unprovoked and it endangered the safety of our employee."
"On the 6th of June, an accredited U.S. diplomat, who identified himself in accordance with embassy protocols, entering the American embassy compound was attacked by a Russian policeman. The action was unprovoked and it endangered the safety of our employee," he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, however, claimed that the American was a CIA agent who refused to provide his identification documents and hit the guard in the face, reports abc News.
Kirby disputed those statements saying, "The Russian claim that the policeman was protecting the embassy from an unidentified individual is simply untrue."
The spokesperson asserted that the Russian security services have intensified their harassment against U.S.
personnel in an effort to disrupt our diplomatic and consular operations.
"We've privately urged the Russian Government to stop the harassment of American personnel in Russia, and as I said before, the safety and well-being of our diplomatic and consular personnel abroad and their accompanying family members are things we take very, very seriously," he added.
Ties between both nations have soured in recent years over Russia's annexation of Crimea and its actions in Syria.(ANI