SALT LAKE CITY /Utah/, February 3. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy continues to seek the return of Russian diplomatic property blocked by the US government and insists on giving inspection teams access to these facilities to check their condition, Nadezhda Shumova, head of the consular department of the Russian Embassy in the US, told TASS on Thursday.
"We continue to seek the return of Russian diplomatic property seized by the US authorities. As a first step, we are trying to get access for Russian inspection teams to examine the condition of our properties," Shumova, who is on a short-term business trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, said when asked about the current status of the dialogue on Russian property blocked by the US administration.
"However, all our requests [in this regard] are categorically denied by the [US] State Department," the Russian diplomat revealed.
In an interview with TASS last August, Alexander Darchiev, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s North American Department, stressed that the actions of US government agencies regarding Russian diplomatic property contradicted international law, primarily the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, under which the premises of diplomatic missions, their furnishings and other property located there were immune from search, requisition, arrest and other enforcement actions. Darchiev recalled that the US had earlier illegally seized six Russian properties through a ‘raider seizure’: villas in Maryland and New York, the Trade Mission building in Washington, the Consulate General's office building and the Consul General's residence in San Francisco (California), as well as the Consul General's residence in Seattle (Washington). According to Darchiev, Russia demanded the return of these facilities and compensation for the damage caused.