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No progress in settlement of issue around Russian property in US - UN envoy

Russia files requests to the State Department for visiting the facilities every other week

UN, February 10. /TASS/. There is no progress in settlement of the situation around the seized Russian diplomatic property in the U.S., Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said.

Every other week, Russia files a request with the U.S. Department of State for "visiting those facilities to see their state," and regularly receives from the American side "refusals with a standard wording they do everything possible to have those facilities in proper conditions," he told Russian reporters on Friday.

In late 2017, Russia succeeded in insisting the blocked diplomatic property issue is included in a report from the UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country. "We have pointed to that issue, but, anyway, the committee itself cannot settle this problem. It is a problem of our bilateral relations with the Americans," the diplomat said.

In a comment on the situation with visas to Russian officials, the ambassador said about certain problems from time to time. However, he stressed, "as a rule, there are no problems related to diplomats, who come to participate in the UN events."

A few days before 2017, the U.S. announced sanctions against some Russian companies and organizations, including the Federal Security Service and the Armed Forces’ General Staff. Besides, the U.S. announced persona non grata 35 Russian diplomats at the Embassy in Washington and Consulate General in San Francisco, and closed down Russian diplomatic property in New York and Maryland. Washington explained those actions by Russia’s hacking the U.S. political institutions. Moscow rejects the accusation.

On September 2, 2017, the United States authorities seized the buildings of Russia’s consulate general in San Francisco and a trade mission in Washington, which are Russia’s property and enjoy diplomatic immunity. Apart from that, Russian personnel was denied access to the premises the Russian trade mission rents in New York. Moscow described the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States as an openly hostile step and called on the US authorities to return the diplomatic facilities immediately.

Addressing a news conference after the BRICS summit in China’s Xiamen on September 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to go to court over the seizure of Russia’s diplomatic property in the United States. "The American side has stripped Russia of the right to use its property - this is obvious violation of proprietary rights of the Russian side. To begin with I will issue instructions to the Foreign Ministry to take the case to court. Let us see how effectively the vaunted US judicial system works," Putin said. Later on, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said work on appeal continues, and soon it will be filed with a court.