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Moscow: US Actions Towards Russian Diplomatic Compounds Violation of Intl Norms

Moscow: US Actions Towards Russian Diplomatic Compounds Violation of Intl Norms

Moscow: US Actions Towards Russian Diplomatic Compounds Violation of Intl Norms
October 25
13:51 2017

The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on the recent developments around the country’s diplomatic property in the US, saying that Washington’s actions violate international norms.

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the US returned the archive and flags of the consulate general in San Francisco, but their actions concerning Russia’s diplomatic compounds are still regarded by Moscow as a violation of international norms.

In early September, at the request of the US authorities, the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco and trade missions in Washington and New York were closed. After the facilities were seized from Russia, country’s national flags 

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READ MORE: Russia May Demand Further Reduction of US Diplomatic Staff, Close Consulate Gen.

“Yes, they have returned flags and the consular archive. But all this is accompanied by a series of actions that are absolutely unacceptable for us. These actions grossly violate the provisions of both the international consular convention of 1963 and the bilateral consular convention,” Ryabkov told reporters.    

Earlier, the Russian embassy in Washington reported that the US handed them the archive of the former Russian consulate general in San Francisco, but did not allow the Russian side to take documents from the building independently in violation of international norms. The embassy reminded them that consular archives and documents are inviolable at any time and irrespective of their location.

READ MORE: US State Department: Actions Against Russian Consulate ‘Perfectly Legal’

Ryabkov reiterated Moscow’s position on the issue, saying that Russia warned the United States about possible steps in response to such provocative actions.

“I would like to say that the constant provocative steps and methods used by the American side in this sensitive sphere lead us to the idea that they are privately ready, that similar actions are quite permissible with their consular and diplomatic institutions,” Ryabkov told journalists.

“We are not taking them [similar steps], because we have a different attitude to the basics of diplomatic and consular relations, but the international law allows us a direct reciprocity, mirroring, if the country is subjected to this kind of unacceptable and hostile actions. After such actions, the country gets the right to respond in absolutely the same way,” Ryabkov stressed.

He summarized saying that Russia ‘warns the American side that such things will not be forgotten’.

Diplomatic Property Row

The issue of the Russian diplomatic property seizure in the US has arisen as a result of sanctions imposed by then-President Barack Obama in December 2016 over Russia’s alleged interference in the US election, a claim repeatedly denied by Moscow as groundless. In particular, the sanctions included the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds in the country and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

Back in December, Russian President Putin has taken a decision not to respond to sanctions imposed by the outgoing US administration and act in accordance with the relations, which would be built with the new US leadership. However, the US has not returned the diplomatic property since then.

Later on, after the Donald Trump’s administration has approved a bill imposing sweeping sanctions on Moscow, Russia has suspended the use of all US embassy warehouses in Moscow and offered Washington to cut down the number of its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people by September 1.

According to the latest statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue, he had instructed the country’s Foreign Ministry to file a lawsuit over the situation. This plan was voiced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his talks with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson.

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Edward Bokhua

Edward Bokhua

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