The Biden administration said yesterday that it is reviewing new diplomatic measures in response to Moscow’s alleged offer of rewards for attacks on American troops in Afghanistan, and in response to the massive hack by SolarWinds, an espionage operation whose main suspects are Russian civilian hackers on duty government agencies, targeting US government agencies and private companies.
Yesterday, the Russian government announced that it is summoning its ambassador to the US for “consultations”: Anatoly Antonov was summoned to Moscow for consultations, said a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, as the Kremlin determines the next steps in relations with the US under the Biden administration.
The announcement that Antonov had been summoned to Moscow came a day after the publication of a US intelligence report to directly accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering a wide-ranging influence operation to interfere in the 2020 US elections, with the intent on undermining President Biden’s campaign. This was the first time that such an accusation was made directly to Putin.
The summons of an ambassador usually indicates that there is a major public dispute and the summons is a manifestation of one country’s discontent with another. The temperature of relations between Washington and Moscow determines how often an ambassador is summoned. The US State Department tends to use the summons very sparingly – just to “wire” high-level diplomatic concerns.
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