US authorities have removed the Russian flag from the seized residence of the Consul General in Seattle, which is unacceptable with regard to the Russian official symbol and represents yet another violation of international norms by Washington, the Russian Embassy in the United States said in a statement.
"Today, under cover of night, the US authorities removed the Russian flag from the residence of Consul General in Seattle," the embassy announced. "These unlawful actions can’t be treated other than being unacceptable towards Russian official symbol and yet another example of Washington’s gross violation of norms of international law."
#КОММЕНТАРИЙ_ПОСОЛЬСТВА— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) 30 апреля 2018 г.
Cегодня под покровом ночи со здания резиденции Генерального консула России в Сиэтле американскими властями был снят государственный флаг Российской Федерации.https://t.co/XMLxG8CvXI pic.twitter.com/jqzVWzVced
The embassy also said that Moscow demands that US authorities return the removed flag back to the flagstaff.
"We would like to remind the US authorities that the residence of Russian Consul General is Russia’s property and is immune. In this regard, we demand to immediately return our state flag back to its place — the flagstaff above the residence, as well as the illegally seized Russian diplomatic property in the cities of Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, and the states of New York and Maryland," the embassy said on Monday.
Earlier, a Sputnik correspondent reported that US authorities were combing through the premises of the Russian Consul General residence. The Russian flag continued to fly over the building back then. The incident happened following another move by US authorities, when the US officials came to the closed residence, broke all the locks, opened the gates and entered the building.the move was not intrusion but a legal action in response to "Russia’s continuing, outrageous behavior." Russian Foreign Ministry immediately responded by saying that Washington grossly violated international legal norms at the residence and called the actions surrounding the seizure of the property "outrageous and unprecedented."
On March 26, Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats and the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle over claims that Moscow played a role in the poisoning of an ex-spy in Salisbury, allegations which Russia has repeatedly refuted pointing at the lack of any evidence provided.