On Friday Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, over what's being widely reported as allegations of American "meddling" in upcoming Russian elections.
According to Reuters, "Russia summoned U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan on Friday over alleged interference by the United States in an election, Russian agencies TASS and RIA reported, quoting a diplomatic source."
While few details have been initially revealed of the accusations, Russia is holding parliamentary elections on the weekend of Sept.17 through 19th.
Reuters added based on local reports that "Russian news agencies reported earlier that Sullivan had been summoned over an issue with accreditations for Russian journalists working in the United States."
Sullivan was during the day seen arriving at the Russian foreign ministry building, and reportedly left after 20 minutes.
#US ambassador in #Moscow John Sullivan summoned to @mfa_russia over alleged 🇺🇸 attempts to interfere in #Russia's Duma elections (due Sept 19). Deputy FM Ryabkov reportedly informed Sullivan that 🇷🇺 has "hard evidence" of US 'big tech' companies breaching 🇷🇺 election laws pic.twitter.com/KK3aprmQKa— Maxim A. Suchkov (@m_suchkov) September 10, 2021
The US embassy downplayed the punitive nature of the summoning, saying instead merely that "Ambassador Sullivan met with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov to discuss a range of bilateral matters in support of President Biden's desire for a stable, predictable relationship with Russia", according to spokesman Jason Rebholz.
Initially it was also reported as having to do with controversy related to press credentials for Russian journalists in the United States. "Some reporters from Russia were denied accreditations to attend 9/11 memorial events in New York, the agency said," according to an earlier Reuters report. In recent years the two sides have engaged in tit-for-tat revocations of the others' press credentials in some instances, also greatly reducing local staff at their embassies over mutual mistrust.