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22 Feb, 2022 12:29

Russia asks US to explain ‘terrorist threat’ claim

Moscow is fuming over the US embassy’s warning that American citizens may be under threat from terrorist attacks
Russia asks US to explain ‘terrorist threat’ claim

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on Washington to explain its intentions after the US embassy in Moscow published a terrorism alert without letting the Kremlin know about what threats it may be facing.

Writing on her Telegram channel, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova asked for clarification regarding the security warning published by the US embassy on Sunday.

“A question to the US embassy in Moscow: did you transmit the relevant information to your Russian colleagues through partner channels? If not, how is this to be understood?” Zakharova inquired shortly after the American statement.

On Sunday evening, the US embassy posted a security alert on its website, warning of a high terrorist threat in Russia, referring to unidentified “media sources.”

“There have been threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine,” the statement said.

The embassy also recommended American citizens in Russia monitor local and international media for updates, while avoiding crowds and locations frequented by foreigners.

Last month, US authorities advised Americans against traveling to Russia due to ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine. To those US citizens who still chose to travel to Russia, Washington recommended they get ready to be “harassed by Russian government security officials.”

“Due to Russia’s heightened military presence and ongoing military exercises along the border region with Ukraine, US citizens located in or considering travel to the districts of the Russian Federation immediately bordering Ukraine should be aware that the situation along the border is unpredictable and there is heightened tension,” the US embassy wrote on its website.

These latest announcements come amid rising tensions in eastern Ukraine, with hundreds of ceasefire violations now being recorded daily.

At the same time, Russia stands accused of amassing more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, with some Western officials suggesting it is plotting an invasion.  The Kremlin has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to invade, claiming that the troops will depart from the border once the planned military drills are over.