OREANDA-NEWS  US Ambassador Lynn Tracy was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry and informed that two American diplomats were declared persona non grata and must leave the country within seven days. This was announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry on the website.

Moscow has decided to expel the first and second secretaries of the American Embassy Jeffrey Sillin and David Bernstein from the country.

"These persons conducted illegal activities, maintaining contact with the Russian citizen R., accused of "confidential cooperation" with a foreign state.Shonov, who was given tasks for material remuneration with the aim of harming the national security of the Russian Federation," the publication says.

Moscow expects Washington to "draw the right conclusions, refraining from confrontational steps," the diplomatic department added.

Robert Shonov is a former employee of the US Consulate in Vladivostok, a citizen of Russia. He was detained and arrested in March on charges of cooperating on a confidential basis with a foreign state (Article 275.1 of the Criminal Code). The arrest was repeatedly extended, most recently until November 23. At the end of August, Shonov was charged.

According to the FSB, since last September, Shonov, on the instructions of Sillin and Bernstein, has been collecting information on the course of the military operation, mobilization processes in the regions of Russia, as well as "on problematic issues and assessing their impact on the protest activity of the population on the eve of the presidential elections of the Russian Federation in 2024." For this, he received a monetary reward, the special service claims. In the footage of the interrogation published by the FSB, Shonov admits his guilt.