Russia’s interior ministry has issued an arrest warrant for US senator Lindsey Graham following his comments related to the fighting in Ukraine.
In an edited video of his meeting on Friday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that was released by Mr Zelensky’s office, Mr Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, noted that “the Russians are dying”, and described the US military assistance to the country as “the best money we’ve ever spent”.
While Mr Graham appeared to have made the remarks in different parts of the conversation, the short video by Ukraine’s presidential office put them next to each other, causing outrage in Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Sunday that “it’s hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators”.
Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s top criminal investigation agency, has moved to open a criminal inquiry against Mr Graham, and the interior ministry followed this up by issuing a warrant for his arrest as indicated by its official record of wanted criminal suspects.
Mr Graham is among more than 200 US members of Congress whom Moscow banned last year from entering Russia.
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Mr Graham commented on Twitter, saying that “to know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy”.
“I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory,” he tweeted.
“I will wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honour.”