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Who stole Russia’s diplomatic property, Mr. Bolton? Moscow slams US ‘missile tech’ smear

Washington "kidnapped a large number of Russian citizens from third countries," the Russian diplomat claimed
Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Vladimir Gerdo/TASS
Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed to Russia’s diplomatic property seized by US authorities in response to remarks made by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton who accused Moscow of stealing US technologies.

"It will be interesting to do the math on how many and which innovations the United States has stolen from various countries around the world. That’s what I will do in my spare time. Send me interesting historical facts and contemporary data, and we will sum them up," she wrote on her Facebook page on Friday.

"Since the issue of theft popped into John Bolton’s head, then I’ll remind him that Washington stole the buildings of the Russian Consulate General and the residence of Russia’s Consul General in San Francisco, the Russian trade mission in Washington, the residence of the Russian Consul General in Seattle, along with two Russian diplomatic facilities in Maryland and New York," the diplomat emphasized. "However, what is way more significant, it kidnapped a large number of Russian citizens from third countries. Or is that not theft, Mr. Bolton? Then give them back."

US National Security Adviser Bolton earlier claimed in an interview with Voice of America that Russia had stolen American technologies related to the development of hypersonic weapons.

Bolton raised eyebrows when touching on the recent tragic incident at a military test site near Severodvinsk where staffers from Russia’s civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom and the Defense Ministry were killed in a blast by a liquid-propellant jet engine. He alleged that "although Russia’s economy is roughly the size of the Netherlands, it’s still spending enough on defense to not only modernize their nuclear arsenal, but to build new kinds of delivery vehicles, hypersonic glide vehicles, hypersonic cruise missiles, largely stolen from American technology."

Diplomatic property spat

On September 2, 2017, US authorities closed down the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco and the Trade Mission in Washington, which are owned by the Russian government and enjoy diplomatic immunity. In addition, the New York office of the Trade Mission, which Russia had been renting, was shut down. Moscow described the US administration's move as an overtly hostile act and urged US authorities to return these properties immediately.

On March 26, 2018, Washington announced the closure of the Russian Consulate General in Seattle (rented by Russia) and the residence of the Consul General (Russia’s diplomatic property).