Statement by the Foreign Ministry on the seizure of Russian diplomatic buildings in the United States
Despite warnings, US authorities have refused to listen to reason and abandon their illegal intentions. Today they seized the remaining premises of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco – the residential part of its administrative building, where the offices have been occupied for a month already by American special services, and the separate residence of the Consul General.
Washington has again committed a flagrant violation of international law. Since last December the Americans have seized by force five Russian diplomatic buildings that are our property. This time the front doors were broken down again and a sweeping search was conducted inside.
To emphasise once again, we have not given the US authorities our consent to the lifting of immunity from our diplomatic and consular property, nor do we permit the invasion of our buildings. Nobody has invited US agents to be there. They are intruders. Their actions are outrageous and unprecedented in the history of bilateral relations.
We strongly protest this latest hostile act of the United States and reserve the right to respond. Reciprocity has always been a fundamental principle in diplomacy. As we see it, by breaking in into our foreign offices, the Americans have essentially agreed to the possibility of similar treatment of their representative offices in Russia.