WASHINGTON, September 3. /TASS/. US actions at the Russian trade mission in Washington have become a clear example of vandalism in the system of international relations, a senior Russian diplomat said on Saturday.
"In a nutshell, we are witnessing a clear example of vandalism in the system of international relations, a seizure of Russian property abroad that smacks of [corporate] raid," the head of the Russian trade mission in Washington, Alexander Stadnik, told reporters.
"We worked round the clock and, of course, we tried to take out as many items as possible needed to ensure our further operations in normal regime," he said. "We managed to take everything necessary for normal life and work of our staff."
When asked whether the US side posed any obstacles while the Russian diplomatic property was being removed, Stadnik replied: "We were too busy to notice who posed what."
"Right now we are headquartered at our main Russian diplomatic mission - at the embassy. <...> Our work will continue. We will officially announce, when and where," he said, adding that further information will be available when the trade mission’s staff will "at least get a change to plug [their equipment] into sockets."
The diplomat confirmed that the trade mission’s building "will remain the Russian Federation’s property."
On August 31, Washington demanded that Moscow close down its Consulate-General in San Francisco and the trade mission in Washington, as well as its New York branch, by September 2. The US side says that the building’s diplomatic immunity expired at 14:00 on Saturday (21:00 Moscow time).