MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) – All of the Russian diplomats charged in a corruption scandal in the United States have returned to Russia, a senior Russian official said Wednesday.
“None of our diplomats charged by the Americans remains in the United States, they have all returned home,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
Ryabkov added that Russia had discussed the matter with US officials and planned to take no action in response. “I repeat what we have always said: we do not want to go down the path of retaliating with an eye for an eye.”
The US Attorney’s office in New York earlier this month charged 49 current and former Russian diplomats and their spouses with defrauding a government health care program of $1.5 million.
The prosecutors alleged that the diplomats and their families underreported their income or falsely claimed that their children were US citizens in order to receive state medical benefits.
At the time of the charges, 11 of the 49 accused were reported as being in the United States.
Ryabkov chastised Washington earlier this month, saying that the case had ulterior motives and that such issues with American diplomats in Moscow are not made public.