Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs blasted America’s seizure of three Russian diplomatic posts on Sunday, calling the actions an “outrageous move” that the country treats as “a blatantly hostile act,” while releasing videos of what it is calling “illegal actions.”
The seizures of the properties, which took place Saturday at Russia’s consulate in San Francisco and trade offices in Washington D.C. and New York, are part of an ongoing tit for tat between the two countries, which has escalated after Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s order earlier this summer that the U.S. close two diplomatic buildings in Russia — a warehouse and a recreational facility — and reduce its staff in the country by 755 employees.
“On September 2, U.S. authorities seized the buildings of the General Consulate of the Russian Federation in San Francisco and the Trade Representation in Washington, D.C., which are the property of Russia and have a diplomatic immunity,” the statement from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads. “Russian representatives are also being denied access to the rented premises of the Trade Representation in New York.”
The statement suggests that the U.S. violated international law in seizing the properties.
“We treat these developments as a blatantly hostile act, a grave violation by Washington of international law, including the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations and the bilateral Convention on Consular Relations,” the statement reads.
Russia urges U.S. officials to “come to their senses” and return the Russian diplomatic facilities in the statement.
If the U.S. fails to return the facilities to the Russians, America “will bear the total blame for the ongoing degradation of the relations” between the two countries, threatening “global stability and international security,” the statement says.
Video evidence of “illegal actions” by FBI
The statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry follows the release of a series of videos claiming to show U.S. officials “rummaging” through buildings,…