A Russian flag flies next to the US embassy building in the capital, Moscow. (Photo by AFP)
A Russian flag flies next to the US embassy building in the capital, Moscow. (Photo by AFP)

Russia says it summoned a senior US diplomat in Moscow to lodge a formal protest against Washington’s interference in the country’s internal affairs, following a controversial move by the US embassy to support an unauthorized rally in the Russian capital late last week.

The US embassy in Moscow published a map on social media showing the proposed route of the march.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry reacted to the move on Friday, saying it had summoned a senior American diplomat over the published post.

“We underlined that we consider the publication of the route … as promoting participation in (the protest) and calling for action, which constitutes interference in the internal affairs of our country,” it said.

On August 3, demonstrators gathered in Moscow as a sign of protest to the government’s decision to disqualify a number of opposition candidates from standing in local elections.

The US has already come under fire for meddling in the internal affairs of China by triggering and encouraging anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

A recent report uncovered a photograph of a US diplomat meeting with members of the Hong Kong political party, Demosist, in the Chinese city.

Russia and the US have already been engaged in tensions; the most recent of which sparked after the US formally terminated a Cold War-era treaty with Russia that had banned nuclear-capable missiles with ranges of 500- 5,500 kilometers.

The withdrawal followed accusations by the US administration that Moscow had violated the treaty by deploying a new type of cruise missile, a charge Russia denies.

The US already planned to start testing a new class of missiles later this summer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, warned on Monday that Moscow will be forced to begin developing short- and intermediate-range land-based nuclear missiles if Washington starts doing so.

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