US diplomats were busy sending messages to Russian officials over the weekend

As Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s insurrection attempt played out over the weekend, US officials were publicly quiet, wary that any comments they made could be perceived by Russian President Vladimir Putin as the US escalating the crisis. But US diplomats were busy sending messages to Russian officials.

Diplomats, including the US ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy, conveyed two main messages: the US expects Russia to uphold their obligation to ensure safety and security of the US embassy and personnel, and the US was “not involved in this matter and would not involve ourselves,” a senior State Department official explained. 

Another message that was sent to Russian officials from US officials included a push for Russia not to use its nuclear arsenal, another US official explained.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov described these messages on Monday.

“When US Ambassador [Lynne] Tracy spoke with Russian representatives yesterday, she gave signals. These signals were primarily that the United States had nothing to do with it, that the United States very much hopes that nuclear weapons will be in order, that American diplomats will not suffer,” Lavrov said speaking on a state-controlled broadcaster.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave the orders to send these messages.

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