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Russia Rejects Claims Of Drugged Diplomats; Suggests They Were Drunk

Russia Rejects Claims Of Drugged Diplomats; Suggests They Were Drunk

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during the opening session of the newly elected State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. They claim power was cut at the clinic where one of the unconscious diplomats was being treated, so doctors couldn't take blood and tissue samples. But before the samples could be taken, the electricity at the clinic mysteriously went out.

"A probe conducted by Russian Federation revealed that at the time no Americans had sought treatment at any St. Petersburg medical institutions", Ryabkov continued. There are also reports of Russians taking dumps on the floors of diplomats.

After the June incident, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said: "The more the United States damages relations, the harder it will be for USA diplomats to work in Russia".

"We are outraged", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement.

Moscow has sought for years to have them released, and earlier this year, Ryabkov suggested that they might be swapped for USA citizens being held in Russian prisons for various crimes.

Asked to confirm or deny that the US officials were drugged, Trudeau replied, "I will not speak to this particular incident".

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But nearly all of the known complaints involving diplomats have been about harassment rather than physical harm.

"Without speaking to specific incidents, we are troubled by the way our employees have been treated over the past two years", a State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFE/RL.

However, officials have suggested the investigation was hampered by Russian intelligence. The American was identified by the State Department as an accredited diplomat, and said he had shown his identification to the guard under normal procedure.

"In particular, the harassment and surveillance of our diplomatic personnel in Moscow by security personnel and traffic police-has increased significantly", she said. The Russian foreign ministry said the diplomat, whose shoulder was broken in the attack, was actually an undercover Central Intelligence Agency agent, and the guard was only doing his job.

Both sides subsequently expelled two diplomats each in a Cold War-style standoff.

In July, the State Department kicked out two Russian diplomats in response to the attack on a U.S. diplomat in Moscow outside the U.S. Embassy by a member of the FSB. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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