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Russia summons US ambassador over 'aggressive course' in Ukraine

US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy

Russia has summoned the ambassador of the United States to Moscow over Washington's "growing involvement" in the war in Ukraine and the "aggressive course" the White House is pursuing in dealing with the Kremlin.

In a statement on Tuesday, Russia's Foreign Ministry announced that Ambassador Lynne Tracy had been summoned to the ministry earlier in the day and been handed a diplomatic note of protest urging Washington to stop pouring weapons in Ukraine.

"In this regard, the ambassador was told that the current aggressive course of the United States to deepen confrontation with Russia in all areas is counterproductive," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry also demanded that the US withdraw its "soldiers and equipment" from Ukraine.

"It was noted in particular that in order to de-escalate the situation, Washington should take steps to ensure the withdrawal of US-NATO soldiers and equipment and also stop its anti-Russian activities," the statement read.

The ministry also stressed that "pumping" weapons into Ukraine and transferring intelligence for carrying out strikes on Russian territory "proves the inconsistency and falsity of the claims of the American side that the US is not a party to the conflict."

Russia launched what it calls "a special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, over the perceived threat of the ex-Soviet republic joining NATO. Since then, the United States and Ukraine's other allies in Europe have sent Kiev tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles, tanks, and communication systems, despite Kremlin's warnings that it will prolong the war.

Elsewhere in the statement, Moscow called on Washington to give an explanation about the explosions that damaged the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines last year.

Back on September 26, 2022, a series of explosions took place on the pipelines, knocking out three of the four strings of the Nord Stream network, off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm.

In a detailed report published on his blog earlier this month, American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed that the bombing of the Nord Stream underwater gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea had been directly ordered by US President Joe Biden and carried out by the CIA with the help of the US Navy.

The White House swiftly rejected the report as "utterly false and complete fiction." The CIA and the US State Department also rejected the report. Moscow has been blaming the West all along.

The development comes just a day after Biden arrived in Kiev on a surprise visit.

Separately on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed both houses of parliament in Moscow, stressing that, "The more long-range Western systems are delivered into Ukraine, the further we'll have to push the threat from our borders."

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