According to the ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, the seven-day-long suspension was imposed on August 5 A sign outside of Twitter headquarters on April 27, 2022, San Francisco, California, US © AFP / Justin Sullivan/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP

Twitter has temporarily suspended the account belonging to Russia’s foreign ministry, officials in Moscow have revealed. According to the ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, the punitive measure was imposed after the diplomats cited a Russian military commander, who had alleged the US could have been behind the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Zakharova posted a message on her Telegram channel, saying that on August 5, Twitter “blocked for seven days the official account of the foreign ministry in English.” The diplomat explained that the harsh reaction had been triggered by the ministry posting a tweet featuring excerpts from a speech delivered earlier by the head of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Troops, General-Lieutenant, Igor Kirillov.

The ministry’s tweet in question cited claims that the United States Agency for International Development could have been behind the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zakharova argued that it was highly doubtful that Twitter had the means to properly check those claims and was in a position to “call into question the defense ministry’s conclusions based on documents and fresh data.”

She dismissed the suspension as “yet another awkward attempt to shut our mouth.”