WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department on Monday confirmed a meeting between U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan and the Russian government, during which Sullivan demanded that Moscow follow international law and allow consular access to all U.S. citizens detained in Russia.
State department spokesperson Ned Price said it is “completely unacceptable” that the United States has been denied consular access to detained American citizens in Russia.
He said there has been no change to the case of WNBA All-Star player Brittney Griner, whom Russia said it had detained last month for possession of vape cartridges containing hash oil. The U.S. has still not been allowed consular access to Griner, Price said.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Monday it had summoned Sullivan to tell him that President Joe Biden’s calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” had pushed bilateral ties to the brink of collapse.
“It is awfully rich to hear a country speak about ‘inappropriate comments’ when that same country is engaged in mass slaughter, including strikes and attacks that have resulted in civilian lives,” Price told reporters.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis, Humeyra Pamuk, Daphne Psaledakis and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)