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Russia’s closed US diplomatic facilities to remain Moscow’s property

September 01, 5:26 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

However, the three facilities will no longer be "recognized as a diplomatic annex"

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

WASHINGTON, September 1. /TASS/. Some buildings that belong to three Russian diplomatic missions in the US, set to be closed on Friday, will remain Russia’s property but no diplomatic or consular work will be permitted there, a senior US administration official told reporters on Thursday.

"In terms of what will happen to the buildings...the buildings that are owned by the Russians will continue to be owned by the Russians, and it will be up to them to determine whether they wish to sell those or dispose in some other way," the official said during a news briefing via a teleconference. "They just will not be authorized for diplomatic or consular activities, and they won't have, they won't be recognized as such."

"I think at least one of the facilities is leased. So I would presume they're just going to end their lease for that facility," the official said, adding that the three facilities will no longer be "recognized as a diplomatic annex."

"The only authorized activities would be the protection and maintenance of the property," she said.

Earlier on Thursday, the US issued a demand to the Russian government to close down the Consulate General in San Francisco and another two diplomatic facilities, one in Washington and one in New York, saying the move was aimed at restoring parity in diplomatic relations with Russia.

A senior US administration official stated told reporters at a news briefing by telephone that the decision implied the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco and the trade missions in Washington and New York. She said along with it the US did not demand that Russian personnel employed at these missions be sent home.

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