A Russian lawmaker has penned a letter to U.S. Ambassador John Tefft recommending that the U.S. State Department and other federal agencies conduct psychological analyses and drugs tests on their employees.
Oleg Mikheyev, a deputy with the party A Just Russia, said he acted after U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki "ignorantly" suggested that the presence of Russian aircraft in Vietnam could destabilize the region, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.
Mikheyev also took issue with comments made by former U.S. Army Major General Robert Scales, who told Fox Business News in an on-air interview last week that the only way the United States could "turn the tide in Ukraine" was to start "killing so many Russians that even [President Vladimir] Putin's media can't hide the fact that Russians are returning to the Motherland in body bags." The Investigative Committee announced Thursday it had launched a criminal case against Scales in connection with his remarks.
When asked about his remarks later, Psaki told reporters that Scales was retired, and did not speak on behalf of the U.S. government, noting that his espoused views were inconsistent with U.S. policy.
In his message to Tefft, a copy of which RIA Novosti has reportedly seen, Mikheyev noted that there has been a global trend toward psychologically assessing civil servants as well as military personnel before offering them employment.
"In order to improve the international dialogue between Russia and the U.S., we consider it necessary for U.S. bodies to analyze civil servants for the presence of mental disorders (including disorders of perception, obsessions), alcohol and substance abuse," Mikheyev was cited as writing.
Just last week the Russian State Duma considered a draft bill that would require electoral candidates at all levels of government to prove they were not dependent on drugs or alcohol, nor were they suffering from any mental illnesses.
Russia's Electoral Commission Vladimir Churov later suggested the adoption of a similar screening process in the United States for congressional candidates, RIA reported.