7 Sep 2017 11:38

Moscow has many options to retaliate against U.S. handling of Russian diplomatic property - ex-Ambassador Kislyak

MOSCOW. Sept 7 (Interfax) - Russia has lots of options to retaliate against the United States' handling of its diplomatic property, former Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak told the newspaper Izvestia in an interview published on Thursday.

"[Russian Foreign Minister] Sergei Lavrov was absolutely right when he said that we should investigate the situation. I am sure that we will calmly plan our steps and take countermeasures and, moreover, that we have plenty of options," Kislyak said.

The U.S. moves against Russia cause concern about "the psychological condition of that country and its ruling class's fixation on an anti-Russian course; what is more, each of these moves has a practical dimension," he said.

The steps taken by the U.S. impact the interests of Russian citizens rather than Russian diplomatic institutes, Kislyak said. The United States closed down the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, the Trade Mission in Washington, D.C., and its annex in New York on September 2. The first two facilities were Russia's property.

"They [...] are pounding their chest and shouting that America is special and should lead the others. In other words, they disagree with objective changes in the world," Kislyak said. He described Russia as a country prepared to stand up for its interests.

"This is the challenge the Americans have failed to put up with. It will take them a long time to get used to it. This period will be long and complex. In any event, this is objective reality. The world is changing," the former ambassador said.