Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Russian Federation protests against removal of flags from diplomatic properties in US

Russian Federation protests against removal of flags from diplomatic properties in US

Washington ordered Moscow to vacate the consulate and Russian trade annexes in Washington and NY at the beginning of September, steps meant to produce parity in the sizes of the Russian and USA diplomatic missions.

"Such steps only complicate US-Russian dialogue", he said in televised remarks.

She said that by breaking into the Russian diplomatic properties, the US special services showed that they were ready for Moscow to act in a similar manner. "Russian employees are not allowed there".

The U.S. State Department denied that the flags were stolen. "We have never had anything like this in the history of the US-Russian relationship", Maria Zakharova concluded.

"Obviously the Russian side has never agreed to its flags being removed", she added, calling the removal "a violation of a Russian state symbol".

Russian flags were removed from the Russian consulate general in San Francisco by U.S. authorities, according to a State Department official.

"The flags at the former Russian consular properties in San Francisco were respectfully lowered and are safely stored within each of the buildings", he said obviously referring to the consulate general and the consul's residence in San Francisco".

Russian Federation considers such a move as an "extremely unfriendly step", and demands an immediate return of the flags, the embassy added.

On October 2, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation reported that the Americans had fully occupied the premises of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, including the residence of the Consul General. US State Department officials, in turn, said that employees of the department made the round of the Russian premises after all diplomats had left them.

These facilities have been actually taken under control of the Diplomatic Security Service, a law enforcement and security arm of the US Department of State.

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