22 September 2017
Moscow: 09:24
London: 07:24

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

07.09.2017

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s comment on the seizure of Russian diplomatic buildings by US authorities

We have taken note of the awkward attempts by US representatives to justify the unceremonious decision to seize Russian diplomatic property on September 2 in an attempt to give them the appearance of "legitimacy." However, there can be no justification for such outrageous actions.

What the US State Department calls "inspections" were in fact an illegal invasion of Russian diplomatic premises accompanied by what was in effect a search from basement to attic. In particular, desk drawers and closets were thoroughly checked. FBI agents searched every nook and cranny, even opening up the ceiling. Some of these actions were videotaped and made public.

Importantly, the buildings, which constitute the property of our state, were not sealed but seized. The Americans "in civilian clothes" remain there. Armed police stand guard along the perimeter of the adjoining grounds.

The Americans are doing some obscure kind of work inside the Consulate General in San Francisco – sawing, planing, all of which we understand is causing major damage to the historical interior. US agents are walking on the roof. In other words, they are behaving like occupiers.

To reiterate, these actions are a flagrant violation of the fundamental norms of international law, including those specified in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, and the bilateral Consular Convention of 1964.

The US officials resort to blatant lies without batting an eye, claiming that we "allowed them to enter the premises." Let's get the facts straight. We were directly threatened that special tools would be used to break down the entrance doors. This was also the case at our trade mission in Washington, where the Americans broke the gate mechanism in order to let in vehicles bearing agents who searched the house and large boxes with unknown contents that were brought into the building. All of that happened without our representatives, who were allowed to stay only during the initial stage of the search.

Another important fact is that there were small children of the families of our employees in the residential part of the Consulate General in San Francisco, whose safety would have been in jeopardy in the event that the building was taken by force. We could not take that risk.

If the State Department wishes to use the term “inspection” to describe such outrageous actions, where uninvited guests drive the hosts out onto the street, they should consider what this word means in the sphere of arms control. Inspectors are sent in to monitor compliance with various agreements on a reciprocal and parity basis. This begs the question: Does Washington believe that we also have the right to similarly "inspect" the buildings of US diplomatic and consular missions in Russia?




LATEST EVENTS

20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during talks with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, New York, September 19, 2017

Once again, I would like to thank you for the hospitality you showed us several months ago. We also look forward to your visit.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Peter Szijjarto, New York, September 19, 2017

As you know, we have always advocated the unity of the European Union, so we wish you all the best.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during talks with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, New York, September 19, 2017

We value any opportunity to hear your views on developments in the region, as well as to coordinate our further steps regarding the issues of concern to us in the interests of stability in the Balkans and the development of the region’s countries in accordance with the will of their people.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, New York, September 19, 2017

Sorry for a small delay. Very nice to see you again. We believe that our dialogue is important. After your visit five years ago, this would be a good occasion to check where we are and what we get to do together to promote our very good relations and friendship.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with TASS and The Associated Press, New York, September 20, 2017

Question (in English): After your meeting with Secretary Tillerson, how would you evaluate the relationship with the United States? And has Russia given up on hopes of a significant improvement under the Trump administration? Sergey Lavrov (in English): The relations are at a very difficult and a very low point, which is the legacy of the Obama administration. We certainly noted what President Trump was saying when he was running for president about the relations with Russia and what he continues to say. Basically, that he wants to have good relations with Russia, understanding that this would be in the American interests and the interests of solving quite a number of important and most acute world problems. And what I feel talking to Rex Tillerson is that this is the position of the administration. They are not happy with the current state of relations, and we are not happy at all. And I believe that the understanding is that we have to accept the reality which was created, as I said, by the spiral of unfriendly steps started by the Obama administration, but this reality is with us. And being responsible people, I believe the Russian Government and the US administration should exercise this responsibility in addressing the bilateral links as well as international issues. We are not yet at a point where this would become a sustained trend but understanding of the need to move in this direction is present, in my opinion.


19.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov

On September 18, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.


18.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

On September 16, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the initiative of the US side.


18.09.2017 - Joint statement by Iran, Russia and Turkey on the International Meeting on Syria in Astana 14-15 September 2017

reaffirming their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic; guided by the provisions of UNSC resolution 2254 (2015);


15.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

On September 14, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the US initiative.


15.09.2017 - Press release on Alaska delegation’s visit to Russia

On September 4-10, Russia was visited by a group of public figures from Alaska, including representatives of the academic community and non-governmental organisations, members of the Alaska Historical Society and prominent figures of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America.



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