Russia has warned its citizens traveling abroad of the risks posed by US intelligence agents, which it say are “hunting” for Russians around the world.
In a travel warning issued on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, “The American authorities continue the unacceptable practice of ‘hunting’ for Russians all over the world, ignoring the norms of international laws and twisting the arms of other states.”
The ministry accused the United States of abducting Russian citizens. “By believing that it is allowed to do all it wants, Washington goes as far as kidnapping our citizens.”
“The threat of detention or arrest on the warrant of law enforcement bodies and special services of the USA in third countries still persists. It is quite real,” the ministry said in the statement.
Relations between the United States and Russia are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War in 1991, largely due to the crisis in Ukraine.
The bilateral ties deteriorated after US-backed forces ousted the Ukraine’s elected president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.
The US and its allies accuse Moscow of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Moscow has long denied involvement in Ukraine’s crisis.
Moscow says Washington is responsible for the escalating tension in Ukraine through sending arms in support of the Ukrainian army.
The United States has provided $75 million worth of military aid to Ukraine, but has so far, at least publicly, stopped short of sending lethal weapons.
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