MOSCOW April 2 —
In the latest sign of U.S.-Russian tensions over Iraq, the
Foreign Ministry protested Wednesday against American airstrikes
that allegedly targeted a Baghdad neighborhood where the Russian
Embassy is located.
U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow was called to the ministry to
hear a protest of the bombing, the ministry said in a statement.
"The Russian side demanded that the American authorities take
urgent and exhaustive measures so that such dangerous and
unacceptable incidents are not repeated in the future," the ministry
Russia did not report any casualties in the strikes, but said
"the security of the Russian diplomatic representation's staff came
under direct threat."
Russia's ambassador to the United States, Yuri Ushakov, delivered
a similar protest to U.S. officials, it said.
Asked about Vershbow's meeting at the Foreign Ministry, a U.S.
Embassy official said that U.S. forces are designating only military
targets and using only precision-guided weapons in Iraq.
Russia, a vocal opponent of the war, has expressed concern that
its extensive economic interests in Iraq may be swept aside in the
aftermath of the conflict.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last week called the war the
most serious crisis since the end of the Cold War
The United States has accused Russian companies of selling
military equipment to Baghdad in violation of U.N. sanctions, a
claim Moscow vehemently denies.
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