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MOSCOW, September 3. /TASS/. Personnel of Russia’s consulate general in San Francisco that has been closed by the US authorities are officers of the Russian embassy and will remain in that capacity till October 1, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.
"On September 1, the Russian side notified the United States that all staff members of the consulate general are considered as officers of the embassy commissioned to San Francisco. Until October 1 (the date appointed by the US Department of States as the last day when Russian personnel are allowed to stay in the living compound of the consulate), they will stay in this capacity," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook account.
According to the Russian diplomat, the consulate’s personnel will continue to enjoy diplomatic immunity.
On August 31, the United States authorities demanded Moscow close its consulate general in San Francisco, trade mission in Washington and its office in New York by September 2.
Earlier, the Russian foreign ministry said in statement that on September 2 the United States authorities had seized the buildings of Russia’s consulate general in San Francisco and trade mission in Washington, which are Russia’s property and enjoy diplomatic immunity. Apart from that, Russian personnel was denied access to the premises the Russian trade mission rents in New York. Moscow described the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States as an openly hostile step and called on the US authorities to return the diplomatic facilities immediately.