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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

“Hellish clown”: how will Russia respond to ostentatious searches in the Consulate General


The scandal around the Russian dipuchrezhdeny in the United States, closed by the decision of Washington, has stepped into a new stage. The American side has decided to inspect buildings that were supposed to leave the Russian diplomats. This was done “to ensure the safety and protection of facilities, as well as to ensure that the Russian government vacate the premises,” quoted the Fox News channel, anonymous state Department official. In Russia check-UPS involving FBI agents were regarded as searches and caused a very sharp reaction. The official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova called them “hellish clown”, and the head of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev pointed to the violation of American norms of international law.


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We will remind, initially the employees of three closed institutions of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, and sales offices in new York and Washington — were given two days to leave the building.

Later it became known that the U.S. government intends to conduct an inspection of the liberated areas. In Russia it is called the searches, but, as often happens, the truth is somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, on fragments video published by the Russian foreign Ministry, shows that the U.S. employee is quite polite and unobtrusive examines the dwelling of diplomats. However, in another fragment, we see a person who very carefully examines the… ceiling.

However, the question is not so much the methods — which depends on interpretation of the terms “inspection” or “search,” but in the very fact of U.S. law enforcement agencies on the territory of the Consulate General and trade missions.

It is known that the ground of any diplomatic institutions — the sovereign, to invade it without permission nobody has the right. This is enshrined in the Vienna Convention of 1961 on diplomatic relations.

Read the article: “Looking for explosives”: Zakharova revealed the details of the capture of the diplomatic missions of the Russian Federation in the USA”

That’s about it, and reminded the head of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev, saying before the examinations, this would be a violation of the Convention. According to him, links of the US authorities on the fact that companies do not perform diplomatic functions, is unlawful. “Even in the event of war, the privileges and immunities employees of diplomatic missions continue until the moment of their departure from the host country,” Kosachev wrote.

In an interview with “MK” scientist, a specialist in U.S.-Russian relations Nikolai ZLOBIN said that the situation at least on the verge of violation of the terms of the Vienna Convention. “Although, to be quite meticulously, the Americans withdrew diplomatic immunity to the point where were conducted the inspection, — said at the same time, the expert. — And it is the right of a party taking certain diplomatic mission — to give consent for their organization. How can you call it a search warrant if the building came under the control of the United States? The Americans can at any time get in, get out, do anything with these buildings.”

“The actions of the American side definitely violate international law — said, in turn, doctor of legal Sciences, member of the Council on the international legal issues at the foreign Ministry Vladimir KOTLYAR. — The Vienna Convention clearly says that the premises where the diplomats enjoy immunity, nobody has the right to intrude without permission. If I wanted to inspect, then it is only possible on the outside.”

Moreover, as assured Kotlyar, the us itself does not have the right to remove have diplomatic immunity with someone or something: “the United States can, of course, think up some lying excuse for this that usually works. A law to remove immunity, that is, in other words, to violate the obligations of the Convention, under which the Americans signed it, they have. This can happen only in the case that a diplomat ceases to be such. Meanwhile, he has a diplomatic passport — and he and his home and his family enjoy diplomatic immunity.”

One of the main issues in the context of increasing tensions between Moscow and Washington remains the problem of whether Russia respond to the US actions. And if so, how?

“Americans have long said that by September 1 will introduce restrictions on Russian diplomats, so the possible responses you would have thought in advance — said in this regard, Nikolai Zlobin. But, in my opinion, the main problem is not what to answer. Russia should come up with a option to expand the process of degradation of Russian-American relations. To aggravate the situation now can very easily, giving a symmetric or asymmetric response, which will lead to further deterioration. However, it would be worthwhile to find the answer that could stop a train, going nowhere, and deploy in the opposite direction. If this option has managed to come up with, it would be more useful than from a further exchange some punches.”

The US media emphasizes the fact that Washington, closing the Consulate General and the trade mission, has not chosen the path of escalation — employees of these institutions will not be sent. Moreover, according to people familiar with the matter sources, they are before October 1 will be allowed to stay in their premises on the territory of dipuchrezhdeny (but to conduct diplomatic activity in these buildings is impossible).

“The United States believes that Moscow proposed the principle of full parity, equalizing the number of diplomats in both countries. And Washington working on this principle, equating the number of consular institutions operating in both countries, reminded Nikolai Zlobin. — Now Russia in the US too, three consulates, and the Americans on Russian territory. Diplomats send makes no sense. As far as we know, according to the new decision of Washington not to introduce new restrictions on the movement of Russian disetronic. But, to my knowledge, in accordance with the new documents transmitted by the Americans, the Russian foreign Ministry, before October 1, you will need to inform US on what positions will remain in the country lost their previous jobs of diplomats”.

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