White powder threat hits U.S. embassy in Moscow

A white powder recently found at the U.S. embassy in Moscow was determined not to be dangerous or to pose an immediate threat.

Police in Moscow acknowledged the incident, saying embassy staff found the powder in an envelope marked "biological weapon," according to RIA Novosti.

Experts from the Russian Emergencies Ministry rushed to the embassy to test the material for poisons and radioactivity. Preliminary tests determined the powder to be harmless, but it was sent to the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights for additional testing and investigation.

According to an unidentified source, the embassy staff discovered the envelope while going through the embassy's mail. The source called the incident a provocation or simply a bad joke, but said an investigation was underway, according to Interfax.

In recent weeks, Russian protestors have repeatedly gathered outside the embassy in support of a new law that will ban Americans from adopting Russian children. The protestors are often seen carrying the pictures of Russian children they say have been abused in the United States by their adoptive parents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said that the adoption ban will not go into effect until 2014. It is widely seen a response to the passing of a U.S. law that bans Russian officials who are believed responsible for the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky from entering the United States.