MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Interior Ministry on Monday issued an arrest warrant for U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham over comments related to the fighting in Ukraine.
In an edited video of his Friday meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that was released by Zelenskyy’s office, Graham, a South Carolina Republican, noted that “Russians are dying” and described the U.S. military aid to the country as “the best money we’ve ever spent.
While Graham appeared to make the remarks in different parts of the conversation, the short video from Ukraine’s presidential office put them side by side, sparking outrage in Russia.
Russian President Vladiir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Sunday that “it is difficult to imagine a greater shame for the country than to have such senators.”
The Board of Inquiry, the country’s main criminal investigation agency, decided to open a criminal investigation against Graham, and the Home Office followed up by issuing a warrant for his arrest, as reported his official file of wanted suspects on Monday.
Graham is among more than 200 members of the US Congress who were banned by Moscow from entering Russia last year.
Graham commented on Twitter, saying “knowing that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of the Putin regime brings me immense joy.”
“I will continue to defend the freedom of Ukraine 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 honor.”