14:40 GMT +316 December 2018
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    People walk past the Consulate-General of Russia in San Francisco, California on December 29, 2016

    Asked About Russian Consulate, US State Dept. Says 'Will Secure Properties'

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    The US Department of State will secure the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, a department spokesperson told Sputnik on Friday in response to a question about possible US government searches inside the property.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "The facilities will be closed, and entry or access to the properties will be granted only with permission of the Department of State. The State Department will secure and maintain the properties in keeping with our responsibilities," the spokesperson said.

    Russia will no longer be allowed to conduct any diplomatic or consular work in the building nor use it for residential purposes, the spokesperson added.

    Earlier on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said US security services are planning to search the premises of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, including the apartments of consulate staff.

    Zakharova pointed out the staff residing in the building have diplomatic immunity, and were told to vacate the premises together with their families within ten to 12 hours.

    On Thursday, the State Department said in a press release that Washington had demanded that Moscow close down its Consulate General in San Francisco and two other diplomatic entities in New York City and Washington, DC by September 2.

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    Tags:
    Consulate General, U.S. Department of State, Maria Zakharova, San Francisco, United States
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