Following the discovery of a mortar shell in the luggage belonging to a US embassy employee at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry described this incident as an attempt to stage a provocation.
"It seems that the United States is trying to test Russia’s security capabilities not just from without, by regularly sending their warships and aircraft on provocative raids near our borders, but from within as well, even by using their embassy employees", the ministry officials told Sputnik.
"Bomb disposal experts who arrived at the scene confirmed that the object is indeed a mortar shell fitted with a detonator but devoid of explosive material, even though traces of explosives were present inside its casing", the ministry explained.
The culprit himself reportedly claimed that he bought the dud shell as a souvenir for his “private collection".
According to foreign ministry officials, the man managed to board another flight to New York and safely left Russia, without the mortar shell.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also noted that the American embassy was immediately notified of this incident by police and expressed hope that the embassy will explain the actions of their employee.
The ministry also remarked that considering the level of attention airport security gets in the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the embassy worker had to realize that "a mortar shell in the luggage is very serious", which means that he "made this move deliberately".