Russia Releases VIDEO of US Officials Searching Its San Francisco Consulate

© REUTERS / Beck DiefenbachThe Russian Consulate building, where smoke was seen coming from its roof, is seen in San Francisco, California September 1, 2017
The Russian Consulate building, where smoke was seen coming from its roof, is seen in San Francisco, California September 1, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Russia’s Foreign Ministry has released footage of some unidentified people engaged in “unknown activities” at the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, which Moscow was ordered to close last week.

The video, which was posted on the Ministry’s Facebook page on Wednesday, shows plain-clothed people checking the rooms, opening cabinets and removing things.

The Ministry described the act as “blatantly hostile” and “illegal” as diplomatic tensions between the two countries soar.

“Representatives from US law enforcement agencies conduct unknown activities on the territory of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco. They mutilate expensive parquet and do work without permission. Most importantly, nobody knows who these people are that are behaving like raiders,” the Foreign Ministry wrote in a comment to the 60-second video.

The US shut down and seized the San Francisco mission and two trade missions in Washington DC and New York.

The Russian flag flies at half mast at the Consulate-General of Russia in San Francisco, California (File) - Sputnik International
US Builds Barrier Inside Seized Russian Consulate General in San Francisco
The US State Department said the measure came after Moscow ordered the US to reduce its diplomatic personnel in Russia.

The seizures come in light of an escalating tit-for-tat between the two nations, following the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December 2016 and hundreds of US diplomats from Russia in July 2017.

The decision to close the Russian missions was taken by President Donald Trump personally, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters in Washington last week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he would instruct the Foreign Ministry to go to court regarding Russian diplomatic property in the United States.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov informed his US counterpart Rex Tillerson of Moscow's intention to bring the issue to court.

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