Russia Protests Over 'Stolen' Flags At Former US Consulate, Prompting US Denial

Pauline Gross
October 13, 2017

Russian flags were "respectfully" lowered by US officials at former Russian properties in Washington, DC and San Francisco, when the buildings were closed, a US Department of State official told Sputnik.

The chair of the State Duma Committee for International Relations says Russia could take additional reciprocal measures "at a legislative level" in reply to fresh sanctions and unlawful treatment of Russian diplomatic property in the US.

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

Russian staff left the consulate in San Francisco last month after Washington ordered Moscow to vacate some of its diplomatic properties, part of a series of tit-for-tat actions resulting from a souring of relations between the two countries.

Russian Federation was ordered to vacate its San Francisco consulate and two other consular annexes after Moscow instructed the U.S.to reduce its diplomatic mission by hundreds of people.

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Russian news agencies cited the Russian embassy as saying it had lodged a formal protest over the incident.

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. We demand that symbol stolen from American government be returned immediately.

Washington ordered the shutdown of the Russian diplomatic missions after the Kremlin demanded that the United States slash staff numbers at its missions in Russia.

"Such steps only complicate US-Russian dialogue", Antonov said in televised remarks. The demand followed a vote to tighten sanctions on Russian Federation.

Following the loss of jobs for some Americans - and many Russians - who had been working at those facilities, the U.S. retaliated September 2 by closing the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco as well as Moscow's trade missions in Washington, DC and NY.

Other reports by GizPress

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