Lawmaker slams removal of flags from Russian diplomatic missions in US

Russia May Demand US Cut Diplomatic Staff

Russia May Demand US Cut Diplomatic Staff

Earlier, Russian flags were removed from the buildings of the Consulate General in San Francisco and the Trade Representation in Washington, DC.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement of protest after American authorities reportedly took down several Russian flags from a seized consulate in San Francisco. Maria Zakharova, the official spokesperson for the ministry, said that the latest move of the United States to remove Russian flags from the buildings of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and the trade mission in Washington was "outrageous".

She said that agents of USA special services removed Russian flags from the Russian trade mission in Washington and the Consulate General in San Francisco, which were seized by the US authorities in September in a series of tit-for-tat actions that form part of the spat between the two countries.

In an interview on state television, Russia's new Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov called the taking down of the flags "upsetting".

She said that by breaking into the Russian diplomatic properties, the USA special services showed that they were ready for Moscow to act in a similar manner.

The US Administration says that the facilities have been stripped of diplomatic immunity.

Russia vehemently opposes the U.S. 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's Embassy in the United States earlier said it had lodged a protest to the USA demanding the flags be immediately placed back. "We demand the U.S.immediately returns the Russian state symbols to their place and prevents such incidents in the future", the embassy said in a statement. "The flag at the former Russian Washington, DC property was also taken down and is safely stored within the building".

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