The Russian Foreign Ministry warned the new U.S. ambassador to Moscow on Tuesday that it would begin expelling her staff if the embassy continued criticizing the war in Ukraine on its social media accounts, state media reported, citing a senior Foreign Ministry source.
According to the RIA Novosti news agency, the Foreign Ministry served a notice to U.S. Ambassador Lynn Tracy accusing the embassy of “maliciously” spreading “inappropriate statements about the Russian leadership and false information about its Armed Forces” online.
“Russia does not intend to put up with the rabid anti-Russian propaganda being replicated by the U.S. Embassy’s information resources and intends to use all available means to neutralize it,” the unnamed Russian source was quoted as saying.
“U.S. diplomats were warned against trying to conduct subversive work, recruiting 'agents of influence' to sow discord and dissent in Russian society and incite anti-state speeches,” they added.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry reportedly warned Tracy that U.S. diplomats accused of interfering in Moscow’s affairs would be expelled “regardless of their positions.”
The U.S. embassy has openly criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its clampdown on free speech on its Twitter and Facebook pages since the Kremlin sent troops into its pro-Western neighbor almost a year ago.
Tracy, the first woman to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, arrived in Moscow at a time when bilateral relations between the countries were at an all-time low and look set only to worsen over the Kremlin's protracted invasion of Ukraine.