US inspects Russian diplomatic facilities Trump ordered closed

US inspects Russian diplomatic facilities Trump ordered closed
© Getty Images

State Department officials on Saturday reportedly inspected the three properties across the country that the Trump administration ordered the Russian government to close.

Officials from the State Department, along with Russian embassy personnel, walked through the properties in San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C., to ensure that they were vacated and to "secure and protect the facilities," a senior State Department official said, according to a Fox News reporter.

"The Department of State can confirm that the Russian government complied with the order to vacate its Consulate and two annexes," the official said.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Russia will no longer be permitted to use these facilities for diplomatic or consular purposes."

The State Department also denied accusations from the Russian government that U.S. officials had "threatened to break down doors in the relevant properties or that the FBI is clearing the premises."

The Trump administration last week ordered Russia to shutter a consulate in San Francisco and two annexes in Washington and New York.

The move was a response "in the spirit of parity" to the Russian government's order that the U.S. cut down the number of diplomatic personnel in Russia, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. She called the move by the Russian government "unwarranted and detrimental."

Moscow was ordered to close its facilities in the U.S. by Saturday. Fires were spotted outside the Russian buildings in San Francisco and D.C. on Friday as personnel prepared to close the facilities.

A senior administration official emphasized that Washington's ultimate goal is to improve relations with Moscow, not further damage them.

"Our goal is really to find a way to get to better relations between our two countries," the official said. 

Russian officials immediately condemned the order to shutter the compounds, saying it marked another blow to an already deteriorating relationship with the U.S.