US State Department Refuses to Comment on Ban of US Analyst Ritter's Trip to Russia

© Sputnik . Andrey Bortko / Go to the mediabankScott Ritter
Scott Ritter  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 04.06.2024
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Russian city of St. Petersburg will host the 27th edition of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) forum from June 5-8. Last year, SPIEF drew 17,000 participants from 130 countries and saw the signing of more than 900 agreements.
The US Department of State told Sputnik on Tuesday it cannot comment on the status of a US citizen's passport following the information about the ban of former US Marine intelligence officer and current political analyst and author Scott Ritter's trip to Russia.
"We cannot comment on the status of the passport of a private US citizen," the department said.
On Monday, Ritter told Sputnik that the US Department of State had forced him off the plane headed to Russia and confiscated his passport. He was slated to participate in the annual SPIEF as a guest speaker.

"As I was boarding my flight out of New York, I was pulled aside by three CBP [Customs and Border Protection] officers, who seized my passport. When asked why, they said orders of the State Department. No further information was provided. My bags were removed from the flight, and I was escorted out of the airport," Ritter said.

Later in the day, Ritter said that former New Jersey Superior Court judge and current columnist and author Andrew Napolitano was also forced off the plane to Russia, where he intended to speak at the SPIEF as well.
Ritter then clarified that Napolenato had not been removed from the plane, but had to cancel his flight for reasons unrelated to Ritter's removal.
"He was unable to travel for completely different reasons that have nothing to do whatsoever ... He had to cancel for other reasons, not because of this," Ritter said, implying his own predicament.
Ritter has been critical of the US administration for the Iraq War and the US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Napolitano is a libertarian and has been an analyst for Fox News since 1997, commenting on legal events and trials. He had written nine books on legal and political issues and has a YouTube podcast. He has also been critical of the US administration since the George W. Bush times.