Friday, 24 Jan 2020

Moscow calls on Washington to refrain from compromising Russian missions' immunity in US

Moscow [Russia], Sept 3 : Moscow has called on Washington to refrain from compromising the immunity of Russian missions in the United States, following the planned search of its diplomatic facilities in the country.

"Minister Counselor of the US Embassy in Moscow Anthony Godfrey was summoned to appear at the Russian Foreign Ministry on September 2. He was handed a note of protest regarding the US authorities conducting a search of Russia's Trade Representation office in Washington, access to which has been closed to us as of today, although this building is in Russia's state ownership and has diplomatic immunity status," Russia Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"It is underlined in the note that we consider the illegitimate search of the Russian premises without the presence of Russian officials and the expressed threat to break down the entrance door as an unprecedented, aggressive act, which could be used by US special services to stage an anti-Russian provocation by planting compromising items," the statement added.

Russia also urged the U.S. authorities to stop these "crude breaches of international law and cease encroaching on the immunity of Russian diplomatic missions," and warned that Moscow reserve the right to take retaliatory measures, based on the principle of reciprocity.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Friday said the FBI was planning to search the general consulate premises, including homes of the diplomatic staff, which would violate diplomatic immunity.

Earlier, the US demanded that Russia shut down its Consulate General in San Francisco and two other diplomatic facilities in New York City and Washington D.C. by September 2.

Commenting on the closure of Russia's diplomatic facilities in the US, Zakharova said it "represents a new gross violation of international law, including US obligations under the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations," adding that it undermines the potential for bilateral cooperation, including on urgent international issues.

Zakharova further said that Moscow strongly opposes the US State Department's decision to close down three Russian diplomatic compounds in the US.

(ANI | 2 years ago)