Russia declares US ‘an enemy’ state for first time amid straining ties over Ukraine - Hindustan Times
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Russia declares US ‘an enemy’ state for first time amid straining ties over Ukraine

ByShweta Kukreti
Jun 05, 2024 11:03 PM IST

Amid straining ties with Washington over Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the United States an “enemy” state.

Amid straining ties with Washington over Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the United States an “enemy” state.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary Peskov's remarks come after former American intelligence officer Scott Ritter's claimed that he was prevented from visit St. Petersburg.(AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary Peskov's remarks come after former American intelligence officer Scott Ritter's claimed that he was prevented from visit St. Petersburg.(AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary Peskov's remarks come after former American intelligence officer Scott Ritter's claimed that he was prevented from visit St. Petersburg and his passport was confiscated by border officials.

Responding to it, Peskov told reporters that "the latest manifestation of the rabid campaign" to stop Americans from communicating with Russia would only be "understandable" if the move had any connection to his former intelligence status.

“We are now an enemy country for them, just as they are for us,” he told reporters.

According to Agentstvo, a reputable Russian investigative website, neither Peskov nor Putin have ever referred to the United States or other "unfriendly" countries as Russia's enemies.

Why was Ritter prevented from flying to Russia?

Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and convicted sex offender, informed TASS that he was taken out from a flight from New York to Istanbul as he intended to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia.

He claimed that authorities provided no rationale for blocking him from flying, adding they were complying with orders from the US State Department.

Speaking to Newsweek, a State Department spokesperson stated that they cannot share information on the passport status of individual US residents without their permission.

"There are situations where a U.S. passport may be revoked.  These include, but are not limited to, laws and regulations affecting passport usage by individuals with active warrants or criminal records, fraud concerns, tax debt, and child support arrears," the spokesperson said.

Ritter has frequently been quoted by Russian official media, typically echoing Kremlin remarks about Putin's war in Ukraine.

Also Read: Biden allows Ukraine to use US-supplied arms to strike inside Russia near Kharkiv area, say US officials

Why this sudden change in Kremlin's attitude?

The Kremlin's shift in language comes after President Joe Biden authorised Ukraine to deploy some American-supplied weapons to attack targets in Russia.

Last week, the Biden administration stated that it worked at "lightning speed" to allow Kyiv to use its weapon to strike particular targets within Russia.

The Kremlin earlier referred to the US and other Western nations that have backed and weaponised Ukraine while imposing sanctions on Russia as "unfriendly states" or "opponents."

In March, Peskov stated that Russia objected to US politicians who disrespect Putin, but added that there is "no anti-American sentiment" in Moscow. Expressing optimism, he even went on to say that "sooner or later the realization that the peoples of America and Russia are not enemies will eventually come."

In January, Putin called the Western countries' elites Russia's actual enemies, and dubbed Ukraine as merely a tool in their hands.

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