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MOSCOW, September 3. /TASS/. The searches at Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States were "an infernal buffoonery" that insulted the dignity of those ordered to conduct them in the first place, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman said on Sunday.
"Looking at the footage of searches at Russian diplomatic missions, I realize that this was some kind of an infernal buffoonery - foolish, illegal and senseless," Maria Zakharova said.
"Maybe they wanted to insult us. Surely they did, no doubts about that. However, it’s the US law enforcers whose dignity was insulted, who had to pry into other people’s corners, poke about in their closets and fake a smile while turning their faces away from cameras," she added. "I feel sorry for them."
On August 31, Washington demanded that Moscow close down its Consulate-General in San Francisco and the trade mission in Washington, as well as its New York branch, by September 2. The US side says that the building’s diplomatic immunity expired at 14:00 on Saturday (21:00 Moscow time). Nikolai Lakhonin, the head of the Russian Embassy’s press service, earlier told TASS that the building of the Russian trade mission in Washington was searched.
On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Anthony Godfrey, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Moscow, to hand him a note of protest over the US authorities’ plans to conduct searches at the trade mission building in Washington.