The Russian Foreign Ministry sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. Embassy after one of its employees was caught on video stealing a railway sign this spring, thus endangering passengers' lives, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
The unnamed 30-year-old U.S. Embassy staffer allegedly stole a railway sign at the Ostashkov railway station in the Tver region northwest of Moscow, Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel Monday, citing police reports. Police found the stolen sign in the trunk of the man’s car, which had red license plates.
“If the stolen sign had not been found in time, a tragedy could have happened,” Zakharova said, noting that the Ostashkov station is a busy junction of the railway line.
The Embassy decided to send the diplomat back to the U.S. instead of lifting his diplomatic immunity as the Foreign Ministry requested, Zakharova said on the Solovyov Live YouTube channel Tuesday.
The state-run NTV broadcaster published video of the theft and reported, without citing sources, that the railway sign was stolen by U.S. Embassy staffer Parker Wilson.
The alleged thief's motive is unclear.
The Embassy has not yet commented on the alleged incident.