Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Russian Foreign Ministry on Flags Removal: US Destroys Relations With Russia

Sergi Lavrov and Rex Tillerson GETTYRussia says it will take the United States to court for seizing its diplomatic properties
Nellie Chapman | 12 October, 2017, 15:45

During a briefing on Thursday, October 12, Zakharova stated that the U.S. authorities committed another hostile act against Russian diplomatic premises in the United States.

In July, Moscow told the United States to slash the number of its diplomatic and technical staff working in Russian Federation by around 60 percent, to 455, in a further sign of souring relations.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement of protest after American authorities reportedly took down several Russian flags from a seized consulate in San Francisco.

Zakharova compared the actions of the American authorities committed at closed diplomatic facilities with occupation.

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

She said that by breaking into the Russian diplomatic properties, the USA special services showed that they were ready for Moscow to act in a similar manner.

"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".

People walk past the Consulate-General of Russian Federation in San Francisco, California on December 29, 2016. The US set a deadline of October 1 for diplomats from the consulate general in San Francisco to pack their belongings.

"We demand an immediate end to the takeover of our property in the United States, which is accompanied by offensive actions", Mr Antonov added.

In late August, the United States ordered Russian Federation to close its consulate in San Francisco and two other installations as relations between the two former Cold War enemies took another dive. Entrance doors to the buildings were broken, while the buildings themselves were searched. However, the Diplomatic Security Service of the US State Department and its foreign missions department have taken the objects of the Russian diplomatic mission under control.