Moscow Furious Over US Plan To Search Russia Trade Mission, Calls It "Unprecedented Aggressive Action”

Yesterday, the San Francisco fire department scrambled a team of firefighters to the city's Russian consulate (scheduled to be vacated today in the latest tit-for-tat diplomatic escalation between the US and Russia) following reports of "blowing smoke" emerging from the building, only to learn that the Russians were engaged in what appears to have been some last minute confidential document "redaction."

Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, explained that the smoke was part of a “mothballing” according to Reuters.

“In relation to this, the windows could be closed, the light could be turned off, the water could be drained out, the heating appliances could be turned off, the garbage could be thrown away, essential services could be turned off and many other things."

Of course, what was really going on was 11th hour document destruction (albeit the old-fashioned way, one not involving a hammer, blackberries, and thousands of deleted emails) and as subsequent events have showed, the Russians had reason to be paranoid: on Saturday, the US unveiled its intention to search the soon to be vacant Russian trade mission in Washington, a move which has infuriated Moscow, prompting Russia to summon the deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy in Moscow to lodge a note of protest over the planned search.

Anthony F. Godfrey was summoned to the ministry on Saturday, it said in a statement, adding that Russian diplomats have been denied access to the trade mission building despite it being owned by Russia and protected by diplomatic immunity. 

The ministry called the planned “illegal inspection” of Russian diplomatic housing an “unprecedented aggressive action”, which could be used by the U.S. special services for “anti-Russian provocations” by the way of “planting compromised items”.

“We consider the planned illegal search of Russian diplomatic premises in the absence of Russian officials and the threat we have received to break down the door of the building as an aggressive action, which the US intelligence service may use to orchestrate an anti-Russian provocation by planting compromising items."

Moscow has called on Washington to stop violating international law and refrain from compromising the immunity of Russian missions in the country. Otherwise, retaliation may follow, the ministry warned. On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the FBI was planning to search the general consulate premises, including homes of the diplomatic staff, which would violate diplomatic immunity.

Former US diplomats, questioned the reasons behind the searches, saying it will only lead to a further escalation of tensions. The US authorities are highly unlikely to find “anything of interest” in the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, as there is probably nothing more than “confidential diplomatic materials,” which are supposed to be there anyway, said Ted Seay, a former US diplomat.

“What are our people going to do in your ambassador’s apartments or in the consulate in San Francisco? Look for illegal recipes for borsch? Of course, you have to respond and to go into our consulate in St. Petersburg – looking for what? Perhaps, for too many copies of Doctor Zhivago in the embassy’s library?” John Graham, former US ambassador to Libya, said.

“This foolishness happens [but] it happens usually at the lower levels,” he added. Meanwhile, Seay warned that “things are already too tense between the two countries” and both sides should proceed with “great care. To me, that means again that anyone who is actually planning to raid diplomatic premises in San Francisco, has lost their mind,” the former US diplomat said.

Comments

Dark star Sep 2, 2017 5:10 PM Permalink

The rest of the world has quietly taken note that the U.S. is now a Rogue State which does not respect International law, and that their diplomatic missions in the U.S. may be subject to illegal searches without warning.The message to the rest of the world could not be clearer; the U.S is governed by criminal lunatics who cannot be trusted, who will break the law, and go back on their word without hesitation.The U.S Government has just sanctioned itself, and is in the process of becoming an International pariah, hated by everyone and trusted by no one.Nemesis awaits.

marcusfenix Sep 2, 2017 4:59 PM Permalink

It appears we may be reaching some kind of critical mass in Washington/Moscow relations and shutting down or otherwise degrading diplomatic relationships and capabilities is just plain fucking stupid given the current state of affairs. Diplomatic communities, there ambassadors and staff can mean the difference between standing at the edge of the abyss and going right over the fucking falls before anyone can get the lid back on pandora's box."Blessed are the peacemakers"Were truer words ever spoken?that Washington seems so eager to degrade these essential diplomatic mechanisms through overtly hostile actions is disturbing and dangerous.  That Trump ordered this provocation marks a serious and fundamental betrayal of one of his most important campaign promisesRelations with Moscow are getting much worse not better, needless to say that is not the direction ee need to be headed. In fact I read a few recent articles in rags like politico and WaPo where they interviewed US military commanders in the Baltics recently and from the tone of thosr interviews war is already a forgone conclusion. Actions like raiding diplomatic compounds for no apparent reason other than to be belligerent and hostile certainly does not help an already deteriorating situation. The deep state is getting dangerously close to dragging us all off the edge of the map and it is now painfully clear that Trump will be doing nothing to stop it from happening. During the election I didn't really like Trump and the whole MAGA bit felt like just another cheep slogan that I found kind of irritating but that was secondary to my overriding certainty that we would not survive a Clinton presidency. Now it looks like it never mattered.

sinbad2 Sep 2, 2017 4:42 PM Permalink

Russia should advise all Russians that they are not safe in the USA, and tell them to leave the US, then close all the embassies in the US.The US is like Iran was, and you can't deal with fanatics.

vietnamvet Sep 2, 2017 3:45 PM Permalink

"I say it loud and clear, I've been saying it for years: I think it's a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia," Trump said a couple days ago before this latest diplomatic turd was laid on Russia's doorstep.To be honest, I have lost track out of which face this two-faced treasonous terrorist-supporting constitutional authority degrading traitor of a President is talking.  Maybe it's his ass?

dogismycopilot vietnamvet Sep 2, 2017 3:52 PM Permalink

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/08/31/press-briefing-p…Q    Thank you, Sarah.  The Kuwaitis are saying today that the Emir will be here next week to meet with the President.  I’m just wondering if you can confirm that.And then on the Russia diplomatic move, did the President initiate this?MS. SANDERS:  This was a decision made by the President, yes.And on the Kuwaitis, I’m not ready to make an announcement on that.  I’ll have to check on the specifics of that.Sara. 

In reply to by vietnamvet

Gordon_Gekko Sep 2, 2017 3:40 PM Permalink

Don't blame Trump. This just shows you how utterly USELESS elections are and how powerless the "President" actually is. The whole "democracy" thing is a TOTAL SHAM.

Savyindallas Gordon_Gekko Sep 2, 2017 6:12 PM Permalink

You are right Gordon. Don't blame Trump. He is powerless to do anything. At least he has made the choice to be powerless. Was he "controlled oposition" even before his election? Probably. Sure looks that way. Hope I am wrong  -but I doubt it. Our country has been a plutocracy for a long time. Americans are laregly ignorant sheeple. There is no democracy in America. Our people are largely to stupid and corrupted to exercise demomcratic rights and freedom anyway. Sad . hate to admit it, but it's true. 

In reply to by Gordon_Gekko

qwertyFUBAR Sep 2, 2017 3:13 PM Permalink

> "used by the U.S. special services for “anti-Russian provocations” by the way of “planting compromised items”.In which the Russians learn what it has been like to live in America during the Never Ending War On Some Drugs.

VIS MAIOR Sep 2, 2017 2:55 PM Permalink

russians will do nothing becouse that is what usa dont want..))))  JUST last week nato stoltenberg on one meet say - "russia destabilize europe with agression"... what agression??" wtf.?! .sooo stoltenberg and nato in europe know , provocations from usa deep sate will continued.. stoltenberg know he actually said in advance that the provocation will be comming soon, week before from now . and nato still thought Russia would react aggressively... lol soo eu and european nato(sweden,danmark,norwks) is big part of "deep state"  zerohedge very underestimate all arround stoltenberg and european nato-satan  

Maestro Maestro VIS MAIOR Sep 2, 2017 3:18 PM Permalink

Right, you moron,
The Americans will put a bullet in Putin's brains and the Russians will do nothing about it because that's what the Americans want.
You are all stupid brainwashed tools.
The Russians will do nothing about it because they are beholden to the Zio-Anglo bankers, juste like the Americans are.
Read and weep, fools:
http://anonhq.com/checkmate-central-bank-russia/

In reply to by VIS MAIOR

Neochrome Sep 2, 2017 2:54 PM Permalink

This is the equivalent of claiming the ownership of the plane carrying diplomatic bags and than continuing to search those bags. This can be construed in so many creative ways and just remember who's idea it was in the first place.

dogismycopilot Sep 2, 2017 2:43 PM Permalink

RT is live streaming the search. Not very interesting except DC police have 3 Black police officers assigned to the gate and a couple of leather daddies to the front gate which is a little bizzare. 

NoWayJose Sep 2, 2017 2:38 PM Permalink

Putin can end these shenanigans by quietly scrubbing all Russian embassies and staff and paperwork (and secrets) in the US - then having the Spetsnaz hit the US embassies in Russia, followed by a mob of reporters to reveal a few CIA secrets!

VIS MAIOR Sep 2, 2017 2:36 PM Permalink

hehehe cold war? NO. but now will usa on isolated side . usa just show how untrust they are )))magic word? BRICS... silk road and cryptos +gold eu now friend with iran .. bibi is scary becouse he now..usa cash support will end.. and bear can do what he wantirak is also change to pro .turkey too 

Stormtrooper Sep 2, 2017 2:26 PM Permalink

A few well planted and very powerful booby traps setup in the Russian mission to eliminate illegal intruders might send a strong diplomatic message to the deep state.

JohninMK Sep 2, 2017 1:57 PM Permalink

Thought a bit of legalise wouldn't go amiss Embassy Territory and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961. Within this convention, Articles 21-25 have to do with embassies, though more specifically diplomatic missions as a whole. Article 21 1. The receiving State shall either facilitate the acquisition on its territory, in accordance with its laws, by the sending State of premises necessary for its mission or assist the latter in obtaining accommodation in some other way. 2. It shall also, where necessary, assist missions in obtaining suitable accommodation for their members. Article 22 1. The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission. 2. The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity. 3. The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution. Article 23 1. The sending State and the head of the mission shall be exempt from all national, regional or municipal dues and taxes in respect of the premises of the mission, whether owned or leased, other than such as represent payment for specific services rendered. 2. The exemption from taxation referred to in this article shall not apply to such dues and taxes payable under the law of the receiving State by persons contracting with the sending State or the head of the mission. Article 24 The archives and documents of the mission shall be inviolable at any time and wherever they may be. Article 25 The receiving State shall accord full facilities for the performance of the functions of the mission. Above you will notice I bolded a few phrases, all in Article 22, which have to do with mission sovereignty. Let’s break it down: 1. The premises of a mission shall be inviolable Nobody can enter the mission without permission- this includes the host country 2. The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity If you visit the US Embassy, especially in more dangerous parts of the world, you will see the exterior of the mission being guarded by local nationals. The inside will have a marine detachment, but the outside will either be local police or military.

ogretown Sep 2, 2017 1:55 PM Permalink

So there you go...we can kiss goodbye the rules of diplomacy.  Sending in the stormtroopers may backfire against American offices around the world.  But why stop there, might as well raid the homes of foreign nationals as well. A dark day for America. 

Dark star JimmyRainbow Sep 2, 2017 5:23 PM Permalink

The Deep State needs war; the economy is imploding faster and faster, propelled by Harvey; Congress is hopelessly divided and impotent.If war with Korea has been shelved becuase it is "too risky", which demented imbecile thinks that war with Russia is less of a risk?They just cannot decide who to pick a fight with.I have a message for the USA; whatever fight you pick; the rest of the world is now against you; you are now the Evil Empire that needs to be destroyed.

In reply to by JimmyRainbow

cheech_wizard Sep 2, 2017 1:37 PM Permalink

My suggestion to Putin is to relocate all American embassies in Russia to Oymyakon...If the US wants to "freeze" relations with Russia this would be the perfect response.

Raul44 Sep 2, 2017 1:23 PM Permalink

Am I the only one who find it strange? Why would they announce such thing in advance if they truly intended to do it? Even if there was something to find, it will be gone long before. Seems like pure provocation only to me. 

silverer Sep 2, 2017 1:03 PM Permalink

Well, let's total up where we stand here. Russia has spent about 2.4 billion on building nuclear fallout shelters for its own citizens. If you live in Moscow, you are no further than three minutes from a nuclear fallout shelter. If you live in the US, you get to look at pictures of shelters your tax money built for your elected officials. What's cool about the US population, is they seem to not worry about being incinerated by nuclear weapons. I'm not sure why only a handful are, and have made preparations out of their own pockets, but that's sure how it looks to me. Russia is prepared to fight a drawn out nuclear war lasting years, if necessary. They've built all necessary facilities to achieve that without breaking a sweat. Right now the US neocons are having a field day screwing with Russia, because if Trump protests at all, the media will be on him like flies on shit.