MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The US has given negative responses to Russian notes on returning its diplomatic property, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the International Affairs magazine.
"Unfortunately, no," he said in response to a question on whether there has been any progress on the issue of returning Russia’s diplomatic property. "We insist on it being returned to us without any conditions. This property is protected by diplomatic immunity. More than 470 official notes were sent to the Americans over this time. The responses are negative," he explained.
"We don’t know what’s going on at these sites. This is expropriation at its worst," he continued. "The authorities of this country [US] with their actions are currently showing that the inviolability of private property is worth nothing in their perception," the senior diplomat added.
On September 2, 2017, the US authorities within the framework of anti-Russian sanctions shut down the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, the trade mission in Washington and its New York division. The first two buildings are Russia’s state property and possess diplomatic immunity while the third one was leased by Moscow. Russia perceived the takeover of the diplomatic property as an openly hostile act and called on the US to hand over these buildings immediately. On March 26, 2018, Washington announced the closure of Russia’s General Consulate in Seattle (leased building) as well as of the consul general’s residence (diplomatic property).