US Expels Russians After Moscow Attack on Envoy

     WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States last month expelled two Russian officials in response to an attack on an American diplomat by a Russian policeman in Moscow, the State Department said Friday.
     The officials were expelled June 17, department spokesman John Kirby told reporters. He didn’t immediately provide additional information.
     Kirby said the American was attacked June 6 by a Russian guard outside the U.S. Embassy compound. Kirby said the attack was “unprovoked and it endangered the safety of our employee.”
     The Russian Foreign Ministry claims the American was a CIA agent and he refused to provide his identification documents. Moscow says the policeman was fulfilling his duties defending the embassy.
     Kirby disputed those statements.
     “The Russian claim that the policeman was protecting the embassy from an unidentified individual is simply untrue,” he told reporters.
     The incident and the expulsions were sure to further strain relations between Moscow and Washington, which had already sunk to Cold War levels over the conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s actions in Syria.
     Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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