MOSCOW — A U.S. embassy spokesperson has confirmed that Russia has requested deputy U.S. ambassador Bartle Gorman to leave the country, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. embassy in Moscow said Washington plans to take action in response to the decision, CNN reported Thursday.
“Russia’s action against our DCM was unprovoked and we consider this an escalatory step and are considering our response,” a State Department spokesperson told CNN.
It’s not known if Moscow gave a reason for today’s decision.
The State Department says the expulsion was unprovoked.
Gorman had been in Russia for less than three years, his tour in the country had not yet ended and he still had a valid visa.
This expulsion comes as Russia has amassed more than 150,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, sparking fears of an invasion.
President Joe Biden has said there is a "very high" risk of Russia invading Ukraine within "several days" and he has no plans to speak to Vladimir Putin.
Russia has denied it plans to launch an invasion, and earlier this week said it returned some troops away from Ukraine.
However, NATO claims Russia is misleading the world and is continuing to amass military assets near Ukraine.
The announcement is affecting Wall Street.
Futures took a sharp leg lower Thursday morning, according to Reuters, as a result of the news.