Matthew Miller, Department Spokesperson
We have seen the video shown on Russia’s state media depicting the alleged confession of Russian citizen, Mr. Robert Shonov, as well as images of apparent Federal Security Service (FSB) summons for two diplomats working at U.S. Embassy Moscow in connection to the case.
The allegations against Mr. Shonov are wholly without merit. As we have stated previously, Mr. Shonov was employed by a company contracted to provide services to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in strict compliance with Russia’s laws and regulations. Russia’s targeting of Mr. Shonov under the “confidential cooperation” statute only highlights the increasingly repressive actions the Russian government is taking against its own citizens.
We strongly protest the Russian security services’ attempts – furthered by Russia’s state-controlled media – to intimidate and harass our employees. Russia is obligated under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to treat diplomats with due respect and to take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on their person, freedom, or dignity, and we expect them to fulfill that obligation.