Street names, apparently, are not immune to the diplomatic tit-for-tat between Moscow and Washington.
Moscow’s city government announced Monday that it will consider a request from a Russian parliament member to change the postal address of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to 1 North American Dead-end.
The name change request seems to be retaliation for Washington’s announcement last month that it would name part of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Russian Embassy Nemtsov Plaza after slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
Nemtsov was shot and killed in 2015 just steps from the Kremlin. He was a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s tight grip on political dissent.
The street renaming comes after months of an intense diplomatic standoff between Russia and the U.S. Putin this summer demanded that the U.S. Mission in Russia reduce its staff from about 1,200 employees across one embassy and three consulates to 445. In the U.S., Russia was ousted from its consulate building in San Francisco, as well as two diplomatic retreat centers in New York in Maryland.
Nemtsov’s assassins were convicted and sentenced for his murder, but the opposition leaders’ supporters blame the Kremlin for not investigating who gave the order for the killing, which they believe came from a higher level.
Moscow complained that Washington’s decision to dedicate a street area to a Putin’s political opponent came at a time when “bilateral relations between the two countries still leave much to be desired, mildly speaking,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters last month.
Russian parliament member Mikhail Degtyaryov suggested the name change for the street in front of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow a day after the Washington city government approved the Nemtsov Plaza request. Degtyaryov represents the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia in Russia’s lower house of parliament, known as the Duma.
Moscow’s city administration said the name change will be discussed in this month’s meeting of an interdepartmental commission dedicated to the city’s street and facilities’ names. The U.S. Embassy’s current postal address is 8 Bolshaya Devyatinsky Lane, a side street leading from Moscow’s central Garden Ring road.
Editors Note: We refrain from posting negative stories on both Russia and Israel. Mostly to avoid an unexpected visit from the “Tip of the Spear” or digesting a radioactive pellet.
(We made a new Category for this story “Diplo-Tit4Tat/Posturing” The way things are going, this Category might become one of mainstays)