Russia Strongly Opposes Russian Flag Removal From Closed San Francisco Consulate

Russia Strongly Opposes Russian Flag Removal From Closed San Francisco Consulate
Sputnik/ Kristin DaileyRussia01:18 12.10.2017(updated 01:52 12.10.2017) Get short URL115620

Another “shameful” event in the row over the Russian diplomatic properties in the US. This time Russian flags were removed from the buildings of the Consulate General in San Francisco.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia strongly opposes the US move to take down Russian flags from its ceased diplomatic properties in San Francisco, the Russian embassy in Washington, DC said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Russia sent a protest note to the American side with respect to the removal of Russian flags from the diplomatic properties in San Francisco, which are now under the control of the US authorities,” the statement said.

Russia considers such a move as an “extremely unfriendly step,” and demands an immediate return of the flags, the embassy added.

Moreover, the United States should never allow such events to occur in the future, the embassy stressed.

In late July, Moscow directed the reduction of US diplomatic presence in Russia to 455 people. This is the same number of diplomatic personnel that Russia has had in the United States since then US President Barack Obama’s ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December 2016.

Washington, in response, demanded in late August that the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, the trade mission in Washington and its branch in New York suspend their operation from September 2.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in September he would instruct the Foreign Ministry to go to court after the US State Department closed three Russian diplomatic facilities in retaliation for Moscow’s decision to cut US diplomatic staff in Russia.