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Lavrov: US Removal of Flags From Russia's Diplomatic Missions Unacceptable

© Sputnik / Maxim Blinov / Go to the photo bankRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with MGIMO students and academic staff
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with MGIMO students and academic staff - Sputnik International
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a phone conversation with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson that the removal of flags from the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States is unacceptable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

"Sergey Lavrov said about the unacceptability of steps taken by the US authorities that had ordered to remove the Russian national flags from the earlier seized diplomatic facilities and reiterated Moscow's line to prepare lawsuits in order to return the diplomatic property that had been illegally seized," the ministry's statement said.

Russian flags were removed from the buildings of the Consulate General in San Francisco and the Trade Representation in Washington, DC on Wednesday after the facilities were seized from Russia.

U.S. and Russian flags hung at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 28, 2017 - Sputnik International
Russia May Demand Further Reduction of US Diplomatic Staff, Close Consulate Gen.
The statement added that the actions of US officials contradicted the statements of Washington about an intention to normalize bilateral relations.

Lavrov also reaffirmed the intention of Moscow to file lawsuits against the United States over illegally seized Russian diplomatic facilities in San Francisco and Washington.

The Russian Consulate General in San Francisco and trade missions in Washington and New York were closed on September 2. After that, the buildings were searched. Washington said that this step was in response to Moscow's decision to reduce the size of the US diplomatic staff in Russia. Russia called these actions an unfriendly step and pledged to sue the US authorities over the situation.

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