Russia protests US questioning of lawmaker

Russia’s embassy in the U.S. submitted a note of protest to the State Department after FBI agents kept a Russian legislator overnight for questioning in a New York airport, the embassy said in a statement posted to Facebook.

In the statement, the embassy said Russian deputy Inga Yumasheva was questioned at the unspecified airport upon arrival.

“She [Yumasheva] was detained at the airport in New York. She was asked to go to a separate room and an FBI officer, who introduced himself, started to question her, for an hour … Moreover, she was offered to meet with the FBI officer in a different, informal setting and to continue the conversation,” Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said Saturday.

Yumasheva, who is responsible for coordinating relations between the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, and the U.S. Congress, traveled to the U.S. with a visa to attend a forum in California on Sunday, the embassy said.

State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin called the questioning a “cynical provocation,” according to Reuters. The State Duma’s press service called the incident “yet another example of a violation of [the U.S.’] international obligations.”

The Hill has reached out to the FBI for comment.


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