On Thursday, State Department officials shared that Bart Gorman, the United States Deputy Chief of Mission to Russia, from the embassy in Moscow. The spokesperson related that this action is “unprovoked,” adding that Americans see this as an escalation of tensions. According to the State Department spokesperson, the United States is currently mulling over the proper response.
Bart Gorman is described as ” the second-most senior official at the American Embassy.” As a deputy, the only American in a higher position is the American ambassador to Russia. Gorman is considered a key leader in diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia.
Gorman was given two weeks to leave Russia, according to a United States State Department Senior Official.
The official added that Gorman has already returned to the United States. He left Moscow last week. Gorman had been in Russia for less than three years; he possessed a valid visa to remain in the country. His tour in Russia was not scheduled to end any time soon.
Gorman’s expulsion from Moscow comes amid rapidly escalating tensions between Russia and the West. Earlier on Thursday, President Joe Biden addressed the issues in Eastern Europe earlier on Thursday, saying that the West has “every indication” that Vladimir Putin will send Russian troops to invade the Ukraine “in the next several days.”
Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, spoke before the United Nations Security Council on Thursday as well. He told those present, “Russia plans to manufacture justification for invasion;” further comments by Blinken urged Putin and the Kremlin to “abandon the path of war.”
A spokesperson for the State Department said that America is calling on Russia to end baseless expulsions, such as Gorman’s. The individual also urged Putin to “work productively to rebuild our missions.”
From Air Force One, White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that it is critical “now more than ever” to have diplomatic personnel so that communication between governments could continue. CNN reported on Thursday that the Biden Administration “plans to take action” regarding the expulsion of Gorman, but such plans were not enumerated.
So far, no specific reason for Gorman’s expulsion has been given; if such a reason was stated, that information has not been released to the public.
Russia continues to deny any plans to invade the Ukraine.
NATO says that Russia is “misleading the world” and that not only are military being added to the border of the Ukraine, but military assets are also being shipped there as well.
The American people are anxiously watching the events in Eastern Europe unfold, and Wall Street has reacted to the escalating tensions as well. Reuters reported that Futures fell amid reports of Gorman’s expulsion as well as reports of shelling in a Ukrainian village.