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US Officials ‘Respectfully' Took Down Russian Flags - State Department

© 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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The US Department of State explained the removal of the Russian flags from the buildings of the closed Russian diplomatic properties in the United States.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russian flags were "respectfully" lowered by US officials at former Russian properties in Washington, DC and San Francisco, when the buildings were closed, a US Department of State official told Sputnik.

"The flags at the former Russian consular properties in San Francisco were respectfully lowered and are safely stored within each of the buildings," the official said on Wednesday. "The flag at the former Russian Washington, DC property was also taken down and is safely stored within the building."

U.S. and Russian flags hung at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 28, 2017 - Sputnik International
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A third Russian government property in New York was a suite in commercial building and did not have a flag, the State Department official added.

Earlier in the day, the Russian embassy in the United States confirmed with Sputnik that flags had been removed from the Russian Trade Representation in Washington, DC.

The Russian embassy in Washington, DC said that Russia strongly opposes the US move to take down Russian flags from its ceased diplomatic properties in San Francisco, and sent a protest note.

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