8 Sep 2017 17:20

FBI behind all actions involving Russian diplomats in U.S. - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Sept 8 (Interfax) - Moscow says the FBI and other U.S. special services are behind the U.S. authorities' actions on the Russian diplomatic property.

"According to our information, as we understand it, officials from the U.S. special services and directly from the FBI are among those behind the events involving Russian diplomats that are now taking place," Russian Foreign Ministry official Maria Zakharova told a briefing in Moscow on Friday.

What is happening is "essentially a raiding takeover of the property of the Russian diplomatic mission," she said.

Commenting on the statements by U.S. Department of State officials that all actions taken by Washington are aimed at normalizing bilateral Russian-U.S. relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry official said: "It is possible that the Department of State indeed wants normalization of relations with Russia, and it is possible that what we hear at Department of State briefings is sincere statements. It is possible that the United States has no unified, integral, agenda on Russia."

At the same time, Zakharova spoke of the real actions taken by the U.S. "How is everything that is happening on the territory of the Russian Federation's building at this moment, at this second promote normalization of the situation?" she said.

"How do the people whom we don't know, whom we didn't invite, who are doing Lord knows what there promote the normalization of bilateral relations? Who sent them there, for what purpose? What are they doing there? Why do they feel at home? It's the property of the Russian Federation! What are U.S. citizens doing there?" Zakharova said.

Zakharova also drew parallels between U.S. actions on Russian diplomatic property and militants' attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya.

"Then, in 2011, Barack Obama, who was then president of the United States, called the illegal invasion of the territory of the country's consulate an encroachment on the ideals on the basis of which the United Nations was once established," she said.

"Why are the same norms of international law now being violated by U.S. law enforcement agencies, not representatives of militants, revolutionaries, or some mercenaries, in the same way that the Libyan militants did?" Zakharova said.

U.S. Department of State official Heather Nauert earlier said the searches of Russian diplomatic property in the U.S. had been conducted by Department of State diplomatic security officers, not FBI agents.

On August 31, the U.S. announced its decision to close the Russian consulate in San Francisco and some consular facilities in Washington and New York in response to the reduction of the U.S. diplomatic presence in Russia.