Fires at Washington mission and San Francisco consulate, both ordered to close by the US, prompt speculation Russians were burning documents
Russia’s foreign ministry has summoned a senior US diplomat in Moscow to hand him a note of protest over alleged plans to conduct searches in the trade mission complex in Washington, the ministry said in a statement claiming the United States had threatened to” break down the entryway doorway “.
The ministry said the protest note handed to Anthony Godfrey, deputy chief of mission, described the planned” illegal inspection” of Russian diplomatic housing as an” unprecedented aggressive action” that could be used by the US special services for” anti-Russian provocations” by the way of” planting compromised items “.
The Washington office is one of three Russian facilities the US ordered closed this week, in the latest round of punitive measures between the two countries that began at the end of last year. The others are the San Francisco consulate and a New York trade office.
Signs that staff may have been burning documents at the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington were reported late Friday evening, merely a day after Donald Trump ordered them closed in a tit-for-tat with Moscow over the ousting hundreds of US diplomatic personnel.
The publication Foreign Policy reported that staff at the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Washington DC were watched dumping newspaper into the fire.