Envoy Calls on US to Return ‘Every Single Piece’ of Property Stolen from Russia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov demanded that Washington “stop the bacchanalia” and return every single piece of diplomatic property in the United States stolen from the Russian Federation.

“We demand Washington to stop the bacchanalia, comply with international obligations and return every single piece of diplomatic property in the United States stolen from us,” the Russian embassy quoted the diplomat as saying on its Telegram channel on Wednesday, TASS reported.

Antonov recalled that exactly six years ago, on August 31, 2017, the US administration “took a new round of unprecedented measures to restrict the activities of Russian diplomatic and consular missions in the United States and, in fact, further curtail bilateral ties.”

“In the form of an ultimatum, it demanded us to close in two days the Consulate General in San Francisco – one of the largest institutions providing visa, notary and other consular services to citizens of Russia and the United States. Simultaneously, we were groundlessly ordered to cease the activities of the Trade Representation in Washington, DC,” Antonov said.

According to him, over the past six years, the Russian embassy has sent “hundreds of diplomatic notes to the State Department regarding access to the real estate assets owned by the Russian Federation,” but each has been rejected. “The United States flagrantly violated fundamental norms of international law, including the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations, as well as the bilateral Consular Convention of 1964. In addition, the US authorities flouted their own legislation, encroaching on the principle of inviolability of private property, guaranteed by the US Constitution,” the ambassador said with confidence.

All this, Antonov said, happened under the pretext of “alleged Russian interference in US elections,” however, “after years of slandering,” Washington has presented no real evidence in support of its claims. “The case of (former US president) ‘Donald Trump’s collusion with Moscow’ fell apart, but all the imposed sanctions are still there,” he lamented.

“We are cynically told that, according to the documents, Russia has not been deprived of ownership title to the real estate assets – just ‘banned from using them.’ There is a pseudo-legitimate attempt to juggle basic legal concepts,” the ambassador concluded.

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