U.S. destroys relations with Moscow: Russia

Andrew Cummings
October 12, 2017

In July, Moscow ordered the United States to cut the number of its diplomatic and technical staff working in Russian Federation by around 60%, to 455, part of a diplomatic row, Reuters reported. "This was done by the people who invaded the Russian territory without an invitation, broke the gates, the entrance doors, and have been doing there what they want since then not even like raiders, but rather like occupants", Zakharova said.

"Russian flags were torn off from buildings of the Russian trade mission in Washington and consulate general in San Francisco, earlier occupied by U.S. security services' agents", Zakharova said at a briefing.

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

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.

Russia's embassy in the United States said earlier it had lodged a protest to the USA side over removal of flags from the seized Russian diplomatic facilities in San Francisco and demanded the flags be immediately placed back.

"Such steps only complicate US-Russian dialogue", he said in televised remarks.

Zakharova said that by such actions, some United States political forces were deliberately destroying relations with Russian Federation.

"Obviously the Russian side has never agreed to its flags being removed", she added, calling the removal "a violation of a Russian state symbol".

Russian Federation has drastically scaled down the US diplomatic staff in Russian Federation to 455 people and seized a USA dacha and a warehouse in Moscow in retaliation to Washington's actions.

"Russia demands an immediate return of the flags, the embassy added".

In September, US authorities ordered the closure of three Russian consular offices, including the consular office in San Francisco and launched major searches in the buildings once they were vacated.

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