Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said Saturday that Russian diplomats working in Washington are receiving threats of violence and are also being approached by the FBI and CIA for information.
“It’s like a besieged fortress. Basically, our embassy is operating in a hostile environment … Embassy employees are receiving threats, including threats of physical violence,” Antonov said, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.
“Agents from US security services are hanging around outside the Russian embassy, handing out CIA and FBI phone numbers, which can be called to establish contact,” Antonov added.
Reuters contacted the CIA and FBI about Antonov’s remarks but declined to comment. The CIA has made it clear that the spy agency is looking to establish contacts with Russians by putting out instructions on its social media accounts in Russian on ways to communicate securely.
Antonov had previously said that since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, he has been denied meetings with high-level US officials, describing the situation as a “blockade.” The Biden administration has largely abandoned diplomacy with Moscow. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hasn’t spoken with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, since February 15.