Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

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

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

"I really do not rule out a scenario in which Russia, in reply to the United States law tightening the anti-Russian sanctions and absolutely unlawful actions targeting our diplomatic property, apart from all measures taken on the diplomatic level could develop a special draft law", TASS quoted Leonid Slutsky as saying on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry added that the actions of United States officials contradicted the statements of Washington about an intention to normalize bilateral relations.

The US State Department's protest notes on incident were also recorded.

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Earlier on October 11, Russia's Foreign Ministry repeated a threat to demand further cuts in the number of USA diplomatic personnel in Russian Federation, also with the goal of achieving parity, after ordering a cut in US personnel to 455, effective last month.

The United States in August ordered Russian Federation to close its San Francisco consulate and two other installations as relations between the former Cold War foes took another nose-dive. On Wednesday this week they removed Russian flags from the roofs of the San Francisco consular office and the office of the Russian Trade Representative in Washington, DC. The demand followed a vote to tighten sanctions on Russian Federation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a phone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson that the removal of flags from the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States is unacceptable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

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Washington and Moscow have engaged in a series of tit-for-tat measures dating back to President Barack Obama's seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds in December of past year on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where diplomats would visit a "dacha" vacation retreat, as well as a building in NY where dignitaries would retire between meetings at the United Nations in NY.

Following the loss of jobs for some Americans - and many Russians - who had been working at those facilities, the U.S. retaliated September 2 by closing the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco as well as Moscow's trade missions in Washington, DC and NY.

Zakharova said that Moscow considered the removal of its flags as a "hostile step" and was thinking new measures in response to it.

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