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Russia rejects US government’s approach to diplomatic property — envoy

December 30, 2017, 6:07 UTC+3

On September 3, the US closed the Russian trade mission in Washington, its branch in New York and the Consulate General in San Francisco

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Russian Consulate General in San Francisco

Russian Consulate General in San Francisco

© REUTERS/Stephen Lam

WASHINGTON, December 30. /TASS/. Russia rejects US president Donald Trump's approach to the issue of Russian diplomatic property in the United States, Russia’s ambassador in the US, Anatoly Antonov, said.

"We believe that the US administration’s measures regarding the Russian diplomatic property are inadmissible," he said in an interview with the international Russian-language RTVi channel, broadcasted on Friday. "We reject this approach to Russian property. I can say for sure that we have fought and will continue fighting to return those buildings, which at present remain illegally seized by the US authorities, and, among other things, we will insist on the resumption of work of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco."

The ambassador said he had requested visiting the consulate’s premises "to see what is going on there."

"Regretfully, the US Department of State rejected the request," Antonov said. "I was not even allowed to enter the building."

When asked whether Russia planned to bring the issue to a US court, Antonov replied: "We have instructions from Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on this issue. The work is under way. This work is very delicate and requires silence and no media interference. We will tell you everything when the time comes," the Russian diplomat said.

On September 3, the US closed the Russian trade mission in Washington and its branch in New York. It also demanded that the Consulate General in San Francisco stopped its activities and vacated the residence of the Consul General in that city. The US authorities gave Moscow time until October 1 to ensure that employees of the Consulate General in San Francisco were able to pack their things. The US administration believes that those facilities are no longer subject to diplomatic immunity. Nevertheless, they are still the property of Russia, with the exception of the branch of the trade mission in New York, which was on lease.

These facilities actually passed under control of the Diplomatic Security Service of the US State Department and its department of foreign missions.

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