Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Lawmaker slams removal of flags from Russian diplomatic missions in US

Sergi Lavrov and Rex Tillerson GETTYRussia says it will take the United States to court for seizing its diplomatic properties
Bennie Garza | 12 October, 2017, 17:03

Earlier on Thursday, the State Duma Council made a decision to postpone the parliamentary delegation's visit to the USA due to the present circumstances, the lower house of the Russian parliament said.

The reason why Moscow has fully downloaded U.S. personnel to 455 is that this figure was also number of Russian diplomatic personnel in United States.

"Russian flags were torn off from buildings of the Russian trade mission in Washington and consulate general in San Francisco, earlier occupied by U.S. security services' agents", Zakharova said at a briefing.

"Russia sent a protest note to the American side with respect to the removal of Russian flags from the diplomatic properties in San Francisco, which are now under the control of the USA authorities", the statement said.

In an interview on state television, Russia's new Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov called the taking down of the flags "upsetting".

According to Zakharova, not only have the Americans removed the flags from the diplomatic buildings, but they also examined the documents inside.

The Russian Mission to the U.S. released photos of the closed diplomatic facility without Russian state flags on Wednesday. We perceive this as an "extremely unfriendly move, the statement said".

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

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. "We demand the U.S.immediately returns the Russian state symbols to their place and prevents such incidents in the future", the embassy said in a statement.

"The flags at the former Russian consular properties in San Francisco were respectfully lowered and are safely stored within each of the buildings", the official said on Wednesday.

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