Russia threatens to expel US employees over allegations of property theft
Russia has asked the U.S. embassy in Moscow to expel three of its staff suspected of stealing things from a Russian citizen.
It was gathered that the ministry demanded the staffers have their diplomatic immunity status revoked so that they can face prosecution in Russia or leave the country.
The alleged theft occurred on September 18 and involved stolen items that the ministry valued at $200, the Post reported. The accused are reportedly three members of the U.S. Marine Corps between the ages of 21 and 26, according to Reuters.
“A statement was sent to the US embassy with a request to yank the diplomatic immunity from three employees of the American diplomatic mission over their designation as theft suspects of personal belongings from a Russian citizen,” the ministry told TASS.
“Should the embassy refuse to withdraw the immunity, the mentioned people must leave Russian territory immediately.”
Tensions have been steadily rising between Russia and Western countries. Last week, NATO expelled eight “undeclared” Russian intelligence officers from Moscow’s mission to the defensive alliance and halved the overall size of Russia’s mission,
Meanwhile, Russian foreign ministry said a U.S. congressional proposal to expel 300 Russian diplomats from the United States would lead to the closure of U.S. diplomatic facilities in Russia, if implemented