Russia has shut down its Consulate in San Francisco and closed its two annexes in New York and Washington DC, the US confirmed after its officials conducted an inspection of the three buildings.
The move comes days after the Trump administration asked Russia to close down its three diplomatic complexes, which was mainly in retaliation for Moscow’s decision last month to reduce the number of American diplomatic personnel by several hundreds.
“The Department of State can confirm that the Russian government complied with the order to vacate its Consulate and two annexes. Russia will no longer be permitted to use these facilities for diplomatic or consular purposes,” a senior State Department official said on Saturday.
According to the senior State Department official, Russian Embassy personnel, together with the State Department officials, walked through three properties in San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC that the Russian government is required to close.
“These inspections were carried out to secure and protect the facilities and to confirm the Russian government had vacated the premises. The United States is fully adhering to the Vienna Convention, US law, and bilateral agreements in these actions as well as in its demands for Russia to draw down those diplomatic properties,” the official said.
They have made separate arrangements to end existing residential uses that will allow families sufficient time to pack out and move.
“Entry or access to the properties will be granted only with permission of the Department of State, which will secure and maintain the facilities in keeping with its responsibilities. No Russian diplomats are being expelled from the US in connection with these closures,” the official said.
“Accusations made by the Russian government, including that US officials threatened to break down doors in the relevant properties or that the FBI is clearing the premises, are untrue,” the official added.