18:13 GMT07 May 2021
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    The plans of US security services to search the premises of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco on Saturday, including staff apartments, is a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee, said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, the US State Department said that the Russian government was told to shut three diplomatic facilities by September 2 in retaliation for Moscow’s decision to cut US diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people to 455. Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry said that the US security services intend to search the Russian property in San Francisco.

    "Even in case of war, not speaking of other more peaceful situations like the current one. The intentions of the US authorities and possible follow-up measures in relation to the searches of the premises of Consulate General are a clear, flagrant and unprecedented violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations," Kosachev wrote on Facebook.

    The senior lawmaker stressed that the convention clearly states that even in case of war, diplomatic immunity is preserved up until the moment when members of the diplomatic staff leave the foreign country.

    "Leaving behind the brackets the political and legal incompetence of the decision on the closure, I strongly oppose the right to enter the working and living premises of the consulate with reference to the fact that it no longer functions," Kosachev concluded.

    Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow resolutely opposes Washington's latest decision to shut several Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States and reserves the right of retaliatory measures.


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