“When the Governor of the State of New York declared state of emergency due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, we requested the return of the mentioned property for the use by the personnel of the mission to diminish the risk associated with the spread of the coronavirus. The Note Verbale has been addressed to the United States Mission to that effect,” Kuzmin said at a United Nations meeting of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country. “The United States did not respond to the Note Verbale of the Russian Mission, letting our Embassy in Washington know that we are not to expected a positive reaction”.
Kuzmin added that Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia has sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asking him to facilitate the return of Russia’s diplomatic property in Upper Brookville, New York. The US government seized the property almost four years ago.
A row between the United States and Russia over the latter’s diplomatic property took place in December 2016, when outgoing US President Barack Obama closed two Russian diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland and expelled 35 Russian diplomats.
Russia has said the United States actions violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations as well as other aspects of international law.