Moscow: US in violation of international law after raids on facilities

Moscow: US in violation of international law after raids on facilities
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Moscow on Sunday urged U.S. authorities "to come to their senses" after conducting a series of raids on Russian diplomatic facilities amid growing tensions between the two counties. 

"We urge the US authorities to come to their senses & immediately return the Russian diplomatic facilities," a message posted on Twitter by the Russian foreign ministry said.

On Saturday, the foreign ministry had tweeted a series of images showing what appeared to be U.S. officials conducting searches of the compounds.

"In violation of international law and their own legislation US authorities invaded Trade Representation of Russia in Washington," the ministry tweeted on Saturday. 

 

The ministry also tweeted a video showing what it said were FBI agents searching the Russian consulate in San Francisco.  

The State Department announced on Thursday that it would close the U.S. consulate in San Francisco, along with its annexes in Washington and New York, in retaliation for Moscow expelling U.S. diplomats.

Smoke was seen bellowing from the consulate in San Francisco on Friday. 

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“The United States hopes that, having moved toward the Russian Federation’s desire for parity, we can avoid further retaliatory actions by both sides and move forward to achieve the stated goal of both of our presidents: improved relations between our two countries and increased cooperation on areas of mutual concern,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said last week.

“The United States is prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted," she added. 

A senior State Department official said U.S. officials and Russian embassy personnel were conducting walk-throughs of the properties on Saturday to ensure they were vacated and to "secure and protect the facilities."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov promised that Moscow “will have a tough response to the things that come totally out of the blue to hurt us and are driven solely by the desire to spoil our relations with the United States.”