Russian diplomats in Washington say they are threatened

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Russian diplomats in Washington say they are threatened

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov says diplomats are receiving threats.

The Russian Embassy in Washington has been blocked by the US, according to Ambassador Anatoly Antonov.

The embassy is under a blockade by the US authorities. The Bank of America has shut down the accounts of our general consulates in Houston and New York, Antonov told the TV channel Rossiya - 1 on Sunday.

The personnel were receiving threats by phone and mail, according to the diplomat. Due to the large protests, the exit from the embassy was blocked for some time. There were acts of vandalism, paint was thrown on the buildings. Attacks on Russian missions abroad increased after Moscow launched its military campaign against Ukraine in late February. Vehicles were rammed into the gates of Russian embassies in Dublin, Ireland and Bucharest, Romania. Activists defaced mission buildings with paint in countries such as Austria and Latvia.

Many countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia, and several Western states expelled Russian diplomats, to which Moscow responded in kind.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.