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U.S. destroys relations with Moscow: Russia

12 October 2017

Moscow has lodged a protest with Washington, accusing U.S. officials of tearing down Russian flags from two of its diplomatic missions in the country, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

People walk past the Consulate-General of Russian Federation in San Francisco, California on December 29, 2016.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia intends, if necessary, to demand the U.S. should reduce the American diplomatic mission further. "They touched our national symbols with their hands", Russia's Trade Representative to the United States Alexander Stadnik said.

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"As current geopolitical realities become tougher, when the United States start an unprecedented enlargement of anti-Russian sanctions and fixed this move in the form of a law it would be very logical from our side to introduce some counter-measures", he added. He also said that the Russian parliament already had experience with a "legislative response" to unfriendly actions of other nations, such as with the 2012 Dima Yakovlev law banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens or by proxy of USA organizations, and introducing asset freezes and entry bans targeting particular United States officials who had violated the rights of Russian citizens.

"The flags at the former Russian consular properties in San Francisco were respectfully lowered and are safely stored within each of the buildings", a State Department official said in e-mails to reporters.

Washington ordered the shutdown of the Russian diplomatic missions in a retaliatory move after the Kremlin demanded the United States slash staff numbers at its missions in Russia.

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"We demand an immediate return our state symbols to their place and prevents such incidents in the future".

In connection with tensions in the relationship between Russian Federation and the United States, Moscow offered Washington to reduce the personnel of diplomatic missions in Russian Federation to 455 people.

The West slapped punishing sanctions on Russian Federation over its meddling in its ex-Soviet neighbour, sparking a revenge embargo from Moscow against agricultural products.

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U.S. destroys relations with Moscow: Russia