Russian flags have disappeared from the building of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, which was seized by U.S. authorities. This was reported by the Russian embassy on its Twitter page.
“This is another disgraceful event. In San Francisco, Russian flags were stolen from the consulate buildings. We demand that the U.S. authorities return our state symbols,” the message says.
The Russian embassy’s statement said that in connection with the incident a strong objection has been sent to the authorities in America. “A strong objection was sent to the American side in the wake of the removal of Russian flags from the diplomatic property in San Francisco, which is now controlled by the U.S. authorities,” said the statement from the Russian embassy, which was posted on its Facebook page.
The message also states that this step is viewed by Moscow as “extremely unfriendly.” “We demand that the Russian state symbols be returned immediately to their place and such incidents will not be repeated in the future,” the statement said.
Later, the State Department confirmed that the flags had been removed. The department stated that the flags “were respectfully removed and safely stored in each of the buildings.”
The Russian consulate in San Francisco was closed by decision of the U.S. authorities on September 1. This decision was in response to Russia’s move to reduce the staff of U.S. diplomatic missions in Russia. In early October, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of seizing the Russian diplomatic facilities and conducting searches there. The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that it never gave the U.S. authorities permission to remove their property – protected by immunity – from the Russian diplomatic and consular buildings.
The U.S. State Department, responding to these allegations, reported that the authorities entered the consulate building to make sure that the premises had been vacated.