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Moscow hands note of protest to US diplomat on searches at Russian facility

September 02, 16:20 UTC+3

The Foreign ministry stressed the trade representation's building is a Russian property, enjoying diplomatic immunity.

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MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned Minister Counselor of the US Embassy Anthony Godfrey in relation to the planned searches at the Russian trade representation in Washington, the ministry's press service said on Saturday.

"On September 2, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Minister Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow Anthony Godfrey, he was handed a note of protest against the intention of the U.S. authorities to search the Russian Trade Representation in Washington, access to which is closed to us from today," the press service said.

The Foreign ministry stressed the trade representation's building is a Russian property, enjoying diplomatic immunity.

"We consider the planned illegitimate search of the Russian diplomatic property without presence of Russian officials and the said threat to break up the entrance door as an unprecedented, aggressive act, which besides may be used by the U.S. intelligence services to organize an anti-Russian provocation," the Foreign Ministry said, adding the U.S. authorities should stop violating the international law and should refrain from attempts at immunity of the Russian diplomatic facilities.

"Otherwise, we reserve the right to retaliate on the basis of reciprocity," the Russian authority added.

On August 31, the U.S. demanded from Moscow closing by September 2 the Consulate General in San Francisco and ordered work stopped immediately at the trade representation in Washington and its branch in New York. The U.S. has toughened requirements for mobility of Russian diplomats and official delegations. The Russian Foreign Ministry called those actions gross violation of the international law.

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