John Sullivan, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, justified the U.S. Embassy’s publications about unsanctioned rallies in Russian cities by their concern for the safety of U.S. citizens.
According to him, it does not matter whether the rallies are pro-government or illegal, the obligation of the embassy is to make sure that Americans do not participate in them. The diplomat emphasized that at such events there is always a possibility that “from a peaceful assembly the demonstration may turn into a non-peaceful one.
Sullivan believes that’s exactly what happened on Jan. 23.
“We have an obligation to warn people not to go there. That’s exactly what we did. We didn’t send out any messages to anybody. We didn’t give instructions,” the ambassador said.
The diplomat added that the Russian embassy in Washington does the same thing when there are protests in the U.S. He called it “normal diplomatic practice.”
Unsanctioned protests were held on January 23 in various Russian cities.
It was reported earlier that a representative of the American embassy in Moscow received a note of protest after the US diplomatic mission published “fakes” about unsanctioned rallies in Russian cities. Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov described the US diplomatic mission’s publications about the illegal actions as indirect interference in the country’s internal affairs.