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State Dept. Complains Russia Slipped Date-Rape Drugs to U.S. Diplomats

The U.S. State Department has filed a complaint with the Kremlin, alleging that two American diplomats, a man and a woman, were given date-rape drugs at a U.N. convention in St. Petersburg last November. It was, ironically, an anti-corruption convention.

According to Radio Free Europe, the U.S. officials were traveling with diplomatic passports as part of a delegation to the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. It was the first time U.S. officials were permitted to travel to an event in Russia after sanctions were imposed against Moscow for its annexation of Crimea.

A U.S. official told Radio Free Europe that investigators concluded, “the two Americans – a man and a woman – were slipped a so-called date rape drug, most likely at a bar in the St. Petersburg hotel where they were staying.”

The results were no laughing matter. One of the victims was “incapacitated and brought to a Western medical clinic in the city for treatment, and to have blood and tissue samples taken in order to determine precisely what caused the sudden illness” — at which point the electricity suddenly went out in the clinic, making it impossible to collect those tissue samples. By the time the victim could be flown out of Russia for proper treatment, it was too late to take the samples.

Another interesting coincidence occurred when investigators asked for the timesheets from the hotel in St. Petersburg to determine who was working on the night of the assault and hotel management said they didn’t have any timesheets for the period in question.

The possibility of a mere criminal assault was considered, but investigators noted the two victims were carefully targeted in the bar, drugged separately, and were not relieved of any belongings.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, the Russians normally content themselves with such harassment tactics as breaking into apartments and leaving the water faucets running, smearing handfuls of human excrement on the floor, or hassling American motorists with minor traffic citations.

After a U.S. diplomat was physically assaulted by a Russian guard in June — either because the guard thought he was a saboteur trying to harm the embassy or a CIA agent checking in with headquarters, depending on which Russian you ask — the drugging incident was taken more seriously, and a previously quiet complaint has been made public.

The Russians have been refreshingly candid that they carry out this mischief on purpose and might step up their game even further.

“Our diplomats are constantly coming up against provocations from the FBI and the CIA, who conduct unacceptable measures against them, including psychological pressure in the presence of their families,” explained Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in June. “Diplomacy is based on reciprocity. The more the U.S. damages relations, the harder it will be for U.S. diplomats to work in Russia.”

“We are troubled, and we remain troubled, by the way our diplomatic and consular staff have been treated over the past two years,” said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau, as quoted by the UK Telegraph. “In particular, the harassment and surveillance of our diplomatic personnel in Moscow by security personnel and traffic police has increased significantly.”

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