Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Russian Federation to demand USA to reduce diplomatic personnel to 300 or below

Russian Federation to demand USA to reduce diplomatic personnel to 300 or below

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

"The State Duma expresses its full solidarity with the stance of our Embassy in Washington and the Russian Foreign Ministry who lodged a strong protest with the American side", Slutsky stressed.

Zakharova compared the actions of the American authorities committed at closed diplomatic facilities with occupation. In addition, US officials said that the US State Department ensures the safety of the Russian diplomatic property and keeps it in order accordingly.

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

"The flag at the former Russian Washington, DC property was also taken down and is safely stored within the building".

Zakharova said that Moscow considered the removal of its flags as a "hostile step" and was thinking new measures in response to it. The US set a deadline of October 1 for diplomats from the consulate general in San Francisco to pack their belongings. During the recent months, Russian representatives have been denied access to five objects of the Russian diplomatic property in the United States.

Russian Federation considers such a move as an "extremely unfriendly step", and demands an immediate return of the flags, the embassy added.

A U.S. Department of State official told Sputnik that Russian flags were "respectfully" lowered by USA officials at former Russian properties in Washington, DC and San Francisco, when the buildings were closed. Entrance doors to the buildings were broken, while the buildings themselves were searched. Nonetheless, they are still Russia's state property, except the trade mission's office in New York City leased by Moscow.

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