by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
In response to the Trump administration’s closure, seizure and search of Russian diplomatic properties in San Francisco, Washington and New York, Vladimir responded to a reporter’s question, saying “(h)e is not my bride, and I am not his bride or groom.”
He and other Russian officials remain understandably furious. US hostility toward Russia is unrelenting.
At her weekly press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on the deplorable action, mocking State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert’s explanation, including claiming Washington seeks normal relations with Moscow.
“How does everything that is happening on the territory of the Russian Federation building, which used to house the Russian General Consulate in San Francisco, contribute to normalizing the situation,” Zakharova asked?
“Why are people whom we do not know and whom no one has invited there engaged in who knows what? Do they also ‘contribute to the normalization of bilateral relations?’ “
“Who sent them there? For what purpose? What are they doing there? Why do they feel like they can make themselves at home there? It is the property of the Russian Federation. What are US citizens doing there” without permission from Russia’s head of mission?
The action was unprecedented, a flagrant Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations breach, discussed in a previous article.
Zakharova bluntly suggested America apparently has no “single and comprehensive agenda” toward Russia.
“Diplomatic immunity and inviolability of diplomatic premises are…enshrined in international law.” They remain unchanged even in times of “very acute crises,” she stressed.
“But how does one conduct a dialogue and build relations if the (other country) violates the agreements it has recognized?”
Host nations are legally obligated to respect and protect the diplomatic properties of other countries. Entering them for any reason requires consent from the head of mission.
FBI agents stormed in lawlessly and recklessly, threatening to break down entrances if kept locked, operating like a US Gestapo.
Claiming they were looking for explosives equates Russia’s diplomatic staff with terrorists. Zakharova asked if FBI agents intended to “plant compromising materials” and pretend to find them.
“Special equipment and technology were brought in…Some kind of work (went) on. Nobody inform(ed) anybody about it.”
“A new tonality of relations is being imposed on us, (ongoing) practically every day – going backwards, rejecting cooperation, including at the level of contacts between our peoples.”
The closure, seizure and search incidents weren’t the first times Washington “crudely violated international law. Such behavior” seriously harms bilateral relations.
“Unfortunately, it threatens to become not just a precedent, but a new American tradition. (Washington) not only destabiliz(es) Russian-American relations, but the whole…global international order.”
Tough comments from Zakharova reflect views of Kremlin officials. Russia/US relations are dismal, worse than any time during the Cold War. Prospects for improvement are nil.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.