'Tit-for-tat': Russia bans FBI chief, threatens to expel US diplomats

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Apr 16, 2021, 09:34 PM(IST)

Russian President Vladimir Putin Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The move has come after US expelled Russian diplomats on Thursday

Russia said on Friday that it would ban FBI chief Christopher Wray from entering the country. The list of US officials who would be banned from entering Russia includes top officials from US President Joe Biden's administration. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland, Biden's chief domestic policy advisor Susan Rice and FBI chief Christopher Wray would be barred, the Russian foreign ministry said.

Also on the list were Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Michael Carvajal, Donald Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton and ex-head of the CIA James Woolsey.

Russian foreign ministry said that the officials had "participated in the anti-Russian push" of US politics.

The Russian move has come as a 'tit-for-tat' after US expelled 10 Russian diplomats from the country on Thursday.

"We will respond to this measure in a tit-for-tat manner. We will ask ten US diplomats in Russia to leave the country," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the reporters earlier on Friday.

He also said that President Vladimir Putin's top foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, had recommended that US envoy John Sullivan leave for Washington to conduct "serious consultations."

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden expelled 10 Russian diplomats from the country and also slapped economic sanctions on Russia. The US said that this action was taken as a retaliation for Kremlin's interference in US elections and other hostile activities including a massive cyber attack.

The White House on Thursday had said that US President Joe Biden's executive order on sanctions "sends a signal that the United States will impose costs in a strategic and economically impactful manner on Russia if it continues or escalates its destabilising international action".

Russia under pressure

Russia saw itself under increasing international pressure as France, Germany and Ukraine called on it to pull back troops from the Ukrainian border to reduce tension.

Also Read | US slaps sanctions on Russia, expels 10 diplomats over poll meddlling, cyber attack

Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Emmanuel Macron and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky "shared concerns about the build-up of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and in the illegally annexed Crimea. They called for the reduction of these troop reinforcements in order to bring about a deescalation of the situation," said the German leader's spokesman in a statement.

(With inputs from agencies)

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