MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry is outraged at Washington’s decision to withdraw the accreditation of the Russian honorary consuls in the United States, the ministry said in a statement.
"We are outraged at Washington’s decision to withdraw the accreditation of five of six honorary consuls of Russia in the United States — in California, Utah, Minnesota, Florida and Puerto Rico," the ministry said. "Moreover, they are even threatened with prosecution."
"Attempts to accuse us of escalating tensions in the bilateral affairs to justify such inadequate actions do not stand up to criticism," the ministry said. "It is common knowledge that it was the United States that unleashed the sanctions aggression against Russia and is carrying out large-scale Russophobic propaganda all over the world trying to shirk responsibility for supporting the armed coup in Ukraine and the bloody war in Donbass. The American intelligence services do not stop provocations against employees of the Russian diplomatic missions, not only in the in the United States."
"By taking a decision on the honorary consuls the Administration of Barack Obama continues the line of curtailing the ties with our country," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"The US authorities have once again demonstrated their true attitude towards developing contacts between people, which are established by the honorary consuls who also render assistance to Russians visiting the United States," the ministry said. "All this was not to Washington’s liking. It’s worth to recall that back in 2013 the United States blocked Americans’ familiarization trips to Russia through Rossotrudnichestro [the Russian Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation] launching a campaign of slander in the media and intimidating potential participants with interrogations by the FBI."
"For our part, we express sincere gratitude to the U.S. citizens who for many years fulfilled the functions of the Russian honorary consuls properly, for their big contribution to the development of multi-faceted cooperation between Russia and the United States," the statement said. "It is neither their fault nor ours that this cooperation has now been derailed. We hope that sooner or later common sense will prevail in Washington, and the honorary consuls will be able to resume their useful and popular activities."