The current and former Russian diplomats and their spouses charged with participating in a Medicaid fraud scheme in the United States may try to defend their position in court or return to Russia, U.S. Ambassador in Moscow Michael McFaul has said.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, McFaul acknowledged that all of these diplomats have immunity against prosecution, and therefore they may choose between trying to defend themselves in court if they disagree with the charges or return home.

McFaul said that the issue is not within his jurisdiction and that it does not concern the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

He said a New York judge is handling the affair without consultations with the U.S. Department of State.

The ambassador also made it clear that U.S. foreign policy officials have no relation to whatever steps Russia may take in response.

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