Moscow expelled US Deputy Ambassador Bart Gorman from Russia, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the embassy.
"Gorman was the second most senior official at the U. S. Embassy in Moscow after the ambassador and a key member of the embassy's senior management team,” Embassy spokesman Jason Rebholz was quoted as saying.
Gorman's expulsion was announced after US Ambassador John Sullivan paid a visit to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Sullivan left the building of the ministry about 15 minutes later and did not leave any comments.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier said that Moscow was ready to send a response to US proposals on security guarantees on February 17. According to him, it will be published in a few hours after it was sent to Washington.
On February 16, the US State Department announced that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was ready to meet with Lavrov in due time" A day earlier, Blinken phoned Lavrov. During the phone call, the Russian minister stressed out the need to continue cooperation on security guarantees.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden claimed that he had information confirming that Russia was conducting a false flag operation.
Speaking to reporters, Biden said that the threat of Russia's invasion of Ukraine was very high. Russia is going to invade Ukraine in the next few days, Biden said. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Biden said that Russia had moved in more troops, contrary to Moscow's claims on their withdrawal.
"Every indication we have is that they're prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine. My sense is it will happen in the next several days," Biden said.
The Ukrainian military, who left the territory of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, declared their desire to negotiate