Alleged drugging of US diplomats in Russian Federation

Reuters

Two US diplomats were reportedly slipped date rape drugs in an upscale hotel bar in St Petersburg. One of them was hospitalized, in what officials later concluded was part of a wider, escalating pattern.

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.

"If, alternatively, they had just been boozing at a hotel bar, they have only themselves to blame", he added.

US officials have also said that in the weeks before the embassy incident, American diplomats were pulled over by Moscow traffic police dozens of times, which is unusual in a city where diplomats are usually afforded leeway for minor traffic violations.

Because the US officials in attendance at the St. Petersburg conference were not top-level State or Justice officials, the State Department chose to take a quiet approach to the incident.

'We have raised our concerns at the highest levels, ' she said.

Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov accused the United States government of making claims against Russian Federation because of its "principled position" on the Syrian civil war.

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The report cites a USA government official, saying the two people were slipped a date-rape drug at a bar and one of them had to seek treatment at a clinic. USA officials have reported minor, if unnerving, incidents involving residences in Moscow and elsewhere being broken into and household items moved around, a gas stove left on, or a cigarette left burning. But in June, a Russian federal security service guard stationed outside the United States embassy in Moscow attacked a United States diplomat who was trying to enter, breaking his shoulder.

Meantime, Russian officials are now saying the same thing happens to their diplomats in the U.S. Accusing U.S. security services of taking what they call "unacceptable measures" against Russian officials.

A story is breaking that could give us a greater understanding of the tense relationship between Russian Federation and the United States.

Later, Moscow claimed the American was a Central Intelligence Agency officer working under diplomatic cover, a common technique used by many countries, including both Russian Federation and the United States.

Elizabeth Trudeau of the US State Department said she was aware of the report but could not comment on specific incidents.

American officials in Moscow have complained about mysterious nocturnal break-ins during which furniture is rearranged and televisions and lights switched on, the Washington Post reported in June.

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

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