Russia has summoned the U.S. ambassador to Russia over the U.S.’ continued support of Ukraine as the war nears its first anniversary.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it summoned U.S. ambassador Lynne Tracy Monday to protest the U.S.’ “growing” involvement in the Ukraine war.
Tracy was handed a note of protest accusing the U.S. of “pumping” the Ukrainian army with weapons and encouraging Ukraine to attack targets within Russia by supplying them with intelligence reports.
The ministry told Tracy, who was sworn in as ambassador to Russia on Jan. 9, that these “clearly prove the inconsistency and falsity of the assertions of the American side that the United States is not a party to the conflict.”
Russia demanded the withdrawal of American and NATO troops and equipment from Ukraine and an end to “hostile, anti-Russian activity” to de-escalate the conflict.
The Russian ministry also asked for explanations about the explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines and urged the U.S. not to interfere with the investigation into the blasts.
At the time of writing, the U.S. has not yet released a statement on Tracy’s meeting with the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The meeting came as President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, to highlight his country’s commitment to defending its ally from Russian attacks almost a year into the conflict.
While Biden’s trip was shrouded in secrecy, it marked the first time a sitting president went to a war zone not under the control of U.S. forces.
Biden arrived in Ukraine’s capital after 10-hour long train journey from Poland.
He met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and told him, “We have every confidence you’re going to continue to prevail,” BBC News reported.
In his remarks, Biden described Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine as “failing.”
“Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided,” Biden said. “He thought he could outlast us. I don’t think he’s thinking that right now.”
Under the intense sounds of air sirens, two leaders visited a memorial to Ukrainian soldiers who perished during the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and eastern parts of the Donbas region.
Biden also announced additional military assistance for the beleaguered country worth up to $460 million, including ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), additional artillery and mortar rounds, four air surveillance radars and other military equipment.
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded to Biden’s Ukraine visit, saying that world leaders “who have sold their souls to the Americans” would soon meet their fall.