Allegations of Russian Bounties for Killing U.S. Soldiers ‘Fiction, Phobias,’ Moscow Claims

Washington’s accusation regarding alleged Russian bounties for assassination of U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan are fiction and phobias of U.S. intelligence community, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday, as reported by TASS.

“We noted the once again voice White House accusations towards Russia about the alleged bounties to Taliban militants for assassination of U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan, claimed to have low or medium credibility. We demand that Washington presented specific facts that such groundless statements are based upon. We once again state the such allegations are nothing but fiction and phobias of U.S. intelligence community,” the spokeswoman said.

According to Zakharova, Moscow receives reports of the U.S.’s own cooperation with terror groups in Afghanistan, including the so-called Islamic State [Daesh], as well as U.S. plans to increase it intelligence presence in Afghanistan amid the troops withdrawal.

“We are certain that these circumstances cause serious concerns not only in Russia, but also in other regional countries. We expect explanations in this regard from the U.S.,” the statement says.

On Thursday, the White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki claimed that the U.S. believes that Moscow should explain the alleged involvement in payment of bounties for assassinations of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. According to the press secretary, although U.S. intelligence agencies have “low-to-moderate” certainty in correctness of such allegations, the U.S. “will not stand by and accept the targeting of U.S. personnel by any elements, including a foreign state actor.”