US-based former Russian FM calls on diplomats to resign
A controversial former Russian foreign minister has come under fire after attempts to rally the country’s ambassadors to quit their posts in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
In a fiery statement on Tuesday, Andrey Kozyrev urged the nation’s representatives abroad to “resign in protest.”
Kozyrev worked as the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic’s foreign minister, and served until 1996 after the collapse of the Soviet Union five years prior. While praised by the West, he is widely criticized in Russia for not being able to stand up to NATO’s aggressive actions in Bosnia and Iraq, and earned the nickname “Mr Yes.” He once publicly stated that Russia “has no national interests of its own,” and was accused by ex-Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev of working in the interests of the US State Department.
Now an American citizen, Kozyrev lives in Miami where he has earned a reputation as a vehement critic of Moscow.
“Dear Russian diplomats, you are professionals and not cheap propagandists. When I worked at the Foreign Ministry, I was proud of my colleagues. Now it is simply impossible to support the bloody fratricidal war in Ukraine,” he wrote on Twitter.
A representative from Moscow’s foreign ministry poured scorn on their former colleague’s words. “When recommending diplomats to surrender and betray, Kozyrev knows what he is talking about from his own experience. Colleagues were always ashamed that they had to work with him. No one has ever understood why such a person was appointed the head of the Foreign Ministry,” a source told TASS.
The unnamed foreign-service operative insisted that Kozyrev is associated with surrendering the country’s interests, and with betrayal. “Kozyrev has been living abroad for a long time. And for just as long he has been conducting anti-Russian subversive work,” the ministry source claimed.
“Kozyrev claims he was proud of the colleagues he worked with. I forgot to add that they did not reciprocate…Only thanks to a team of professionals was it possible to keep the department from complete collapse,” he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military action into Ukraine last Thursday after the leaders of the recently recognized breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics appealed for assistance in relation to what they claim was increasing “aggression” from Kiev’s armed forces.