MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the actions of San Francisco authorities, who have fined the staff of the Russian Consulate General in the city, just another "anti-Russian performance."
"The anti-Russian performance continues in the US. The next presentation is under the title 'Russians poisoned San Francisco.' What for? In particular, to justify the barbaric actions of US intelligence agencies on the territory of the Russian Consulate General," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page, commenting on media reports of the fine.
US media reports suggested earlier in the day that a local branch of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in one of San Francisco's districts had sent a notification to the employees of the Russian consulate about a violation related to the "burning of garbage." According to the BAAQMD representatives, it was garbage or material that was banned for combustion.The latest incident comes over a week after the US conducted searchesin the buildings of the Russian General Consulate in San Francisco and its trade mission in Washington. The move came following the US State Department's demand urging Moscow to close down its consulate general in San Francisco and two other diplomatic entities in New York City and Washington, DC.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that US actions constituted a violation of international law, including the Vienna convention on diplomatic and consular relations.
Commenting on the situation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow will bring the work of US missions in Russia to full accord "with what is called parity." Moreover, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Foreign Ministry to sue Washington over Russian property's seizure.