The Cold War rivalry between Russia and the US has seemingly worsened as the American secret service cordoned off the perimeter of the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. A secret service officer confirmed the news, saying that the embassy was shut down. However, he refused to mention the reason behind such a move.
Later, a senior official of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department said that they cordoned off the area after receiving information that a suspicious package arrived there at about 4:45pm (local time). He also said that the secret service removed the blockade after four hours. During this period, officials of the police department's explosive ordnance disposal unit cleared the package without much difficulties. However, the police are yet to release details of the concerning package. Also, it is still unclear whether any person, with a specific interest, brought the package to the embassy.
Sputnik, the Russian state-owned news agency, reported that the situation inside the embassy remained calm even after the move, as the US Police blocked movements of people outside the embassy with six fire department trucks and several police cars. The secret service officials reportedly threatened people by saying that they would be arrested, if they tried to enter the embassy premises. The local residents near the Russian embassy, too, were in trouble, as they were unable to enter their residences. They had no information about the secret service's move.
So far, the Kremlin has made no comments on this issue. It may be noted that the New York City police had got involved in an armed confrontation with a man, carrying a firearm, just outside the UN building. The police also released a video of the armed man, walking outside the UN building. The video shows a white man, with gray hair and wearing a red jacket, carrying a firearm.
Meanwhile, a US security official has expressed serious concern over the increasing number of security breach in sensitive areas across the country. With the Afghan Taliban threatening to carry out terror attacks in the US after the withdrawal of the US forces from the war-ravaged country, the concerned authorities in Washington have strengthened security in important areas. An untoward incident in the Russian embassy in the US will certainly have an impact on bilateral diplomatic relations, as the Joe Biden administration has slammed the Kremlin for sending troops to the Russia-Ukraine borders. The US president also announced that he would impose fresh sanctions on Russia, if it attacks Ukraine.