Moscow Strongly Opposes Russian Flag Removal From Diplomatic Properties in US
Another "shameful event" in the row over the Russian diplomatic properties in the US. This time Russian flags were removed from the buildings of the Consulate General in San Francisco and the Trade Representation in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia vehemently opposes the US move to take down Russian flags from its ceased diplomatic properties in San Francisco, the Russian embassy in Washington, DC said in a statement on Wednesday.
"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 US authorities," the statement said.
Russia considers such a move as an "extremely unfriendly step," and demands an immediate return of the flags, the embassy added.
Moreover, the United States should never allow such events to occur in the future, the embassy stressed.
Later in the day the Russian embassy in the United States has also confirmed with Sputnik that flags have been removed from Russian Trade Representation in Washington, DC.
"We can confirm," Russian Embassy spokesman Nikolai Lakhonin told Sputnik regarding the removal of flags from the Trade Representation.
Russian Trade Representative in the United States Aleksander Stadnik told Sputnik that the removal of flags from the ceased Russian Trade Representation in Washington, DC is a shameless provocation contrary to international norms that raises a question about the intelligence quotient (IQ) of the US administration.
"The removal of Russian flags from the Russian Trade representation is a real provocation. It's an absolutely shameless and outrageous act, that doesn't fit in with any international norms," Stadnik said. "Today, there are a lot talks about IQ score in the US administration, it looks like it really needs to be checked."
In late July, Moscow directed the reduction of US diplomatic presence in Russia to 455 people. This is the same number of diplomatic personnel that Russia has had in the United States since then US President Barack Obama's ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December 2016.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in September he would instruct the Foreign Ministry to go to courtafter the US State Department closed three Russian diplomatic facilities in retaliation for Moscow’s decision to cut US diplomatic staff in Russia.