U.S. Ambassador Summoned by Russian Foreign Ministry Amid Election Interference Warning

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.08 - 2024 12:00 PM CET

Photo: Hussein Eddeb / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Hussein Eddeb / Shutterstock.com
U.S. Ambassador Summoned by Russian Foreign Ministry Amid Election Interference Warning.

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The U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Lynne M. Tracy, was urgently called to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as tensions rise. Moscow issued specific demands and a direct threat during the meeting.

In a move underscoring escalating diplomatic strains, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned Ambassador Tracy against actions by American diplomats perceived as meddling in Russia's internal affairs. The warning came amid accusations of attempted interference and sabotage by the United States in the context of Russia's internal political processes and its "special military operation" in Ukraine - a term utilized by Kremlin to describe its aggressive actions.

During the summoning, the Ministry specifically targeted three American non-profit organizations - the American Councils for International Education, Cultural Vistas, and the Institute of International Education. These entities were declared undesirable within the Russian Federation, accused of recruiting agents of influence under the pretext of educational and cultural exchanges.

An official note was handed to Ambassador Tracy, urging the U.S. to cease supporting the activities of these organizations. The Ministry's statement emphasized, "Attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation will be firmly and decisively suppressed, up to the expulsion of U.S. Embassy staff involved in such activities and declaring diplomats persona non grata."

This development comes as Russia prepares for its presidential elections scheduled from March 15-17, 2024, with current President Vladimir Putin anticipated to secure another term.

Increased Censorship Measures by Putin's Regime

In related news, British intelligence recently highlighted the Russian government's intensification of censorship levels against both citizens and media operating within the country. President Putin signed a law on February 14, allowing for the confiscation of property as punishment for "spreading false information" about the Russian military.

Additionally, the Russian State Duma proposed legislation expanding the grounds for declaring media as "undesirable organizations," potentially further limiting the activities of Russian-language Western media outlets such as Radio Liberty, Deutsche Welle, and the BBC.

These measures are part of a broader trend by the Russian government to restrict the domestic information environment, aiming to quell possible dissent and criticism of the authorities. This trend has notably accelerated since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.