(Moscow) Russia announced on Friday that it had placed the Czech Republic and the United States on its list of “unfriendly” countries in a period of constant tension between Moscow and Western countries.
According to a government decree signed on Thursday, but published on the official Russian portal on Friday, the two countries have been declared “unfriendly” with the result of a stronger border for the Czech Republic and the appointment of Russian personnel to the United States. There is a total restriction for. Moscow Embassy.
The decree was signed just days before the first meeting of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian diplomacy chief Sergey Lavrov.
The US embassy announced earlier this week the suspension of most of its consular services due to Russian sanctions, forcing it to separate from all its local staff and reduce “75% of its workforce” .
In late April 2021, Russian President Vladimir Poutin ordered the Foreign Ministry to establish a list of “unfriendly countries” to “protect the interests and security” of Russia.
“Moscow has always emphasized its willingness to negotiate,” a spokesman for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov commented on Friday, quoting the TASS news agency, insisting that only these two countries were included in the list, while The Russian media included a total of ten countries. Including the United Kingdom.
US-Russian relations continue to deteriorate amid allegations of Washington interfering in the 2020 US presidential election, espionage and cyber attacks.
In April, Joe Biden’s administration ordered new sanctions against Russian-linked entities, the expulsion of ten diplomats, and a ban on American banks buying Russian-issued loans directly.
At the same time, expulsion of Russian diplomats has increased in recent weeks in many Western capitals, especially Eastern Europe. Prague has played a leading role in this movement after the Czech government accused the Russian secret service of blowing up arms depots.
Moscow has retaliated and expelled the diplomats of the countries concerned.