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

Russia May Demand US Cut Diplomatic Staff

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

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov communicated to his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, that the removal of Russian flags was unacceptable.

"The flags at the former Russian consular properties in San Francisco were respectfully lowered and are safely stored within each of the buildings", a State Department official said in e-mails to reporters.

Lavrov, in a telephone conversation with Tillerson, also said it was unacceptable that US authorities had removed Russian flags from its seized diplomatic buildings in the United States, the ministry said.

In December 2016, two Russian diplomatic properties in NY and Maryland used by Russian diplomats were closed by the Obama administration over accusations of alleged Russian hacking during the presidential election.

Lavrov further warned Tillerson during a phone conversation that Washington should be prepared for the consequences and possible retaliation if Russian diplomatic properties were not returned.


US President Donald Trump initially pledged to improve ties, but those promises have been overshadowed by allegations of collusion between Russian Federation and members of Trump's election campaign.

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.

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.

"We consider this as an extremely unfriendly step", the embassy said.

On September 15, the US Congress passed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act with funding for a cruise missiles with a range that is plainly prohibited under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a move former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and operations officer John Kiriakou told Sputnik News amounted to "one more coal on the fire of US-Russian relations".

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