US envoy's Shaheenbagh visit attempt to interfere in Bangladesh's internal affairs: Russia
Russia believes that the US ambassador's visit to Shaheenbagh to meet with the family of a supporter of an opposition political party is an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Bangladesh.
"Russia considers the US ambassador's visit to Shaheenbagh as an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Bangladesh," said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
Russian embassy in Bangladesh circulated the statement.
The spokeswoman said, "This incident is an expected result of the activity of the American diplomat, who, under the pretext of caring about the rights of the citizens of Bangladesh was persistently trying to influence the domestic processes in the country."
On December 14, Peter Haas had called in at the Shaheenbagh home of missing BNP leader Sajedul Islam Sumon to meet with the families of victims of enforced disappearance.
As the prescheduled meeting was going on, members of Mayer Kanna took positions in front of the house and demanded justice for their relatives who were victims of court martial during the regime of late president Ziaur Rahman, founder of BNP, in 1977.
The meeting was interrupted by protestors, who attempted to enter the building where Haas was located. Due to security concerns, Haas ended the meeting earlier than scheduled. As he was exiting the venue, the other protestors surrounded the ambassador's vehicle.
Haas immediately called on Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at the foreign ministry to share his concerns over the incident.
After the incident, the Russian embassy on Tuesday issued a press release taking a stand against foreign interference in local political issues.
In the statement, the Russia embassy said it was committed to the principle of not interfering in domestic affairs of other countries. It added that countries like Bangladesh "which shape their foreign and internal policy to serve their own national interests instead of following the lead of external powers, take a similar approach".
The following day, the US embassy posted a news article about Russia's statement, with a caption that read: "Does this apply to Ukraine? #StandwithUkraine."
The same day, the Russian embassy tweeted a cartoon with the caption: "The current state of affairs."
The cartoon depicts birds sitting on different rungs on a pole, with national flags beside them. On the top is a solitary bird next to a US flag, then two birds next to a UK flag, followed by birds next to the EU flag, with four birds on the bottom next to a flag of Ukraine.