The US refused to return to the representatives of the Russian Federation the seized diplomatic property in New York, which was needed for humanitarian reasons, said Deputy Russian Ambassador to the UN Gennady Kuzmin at a meeting of the UN General Assembly Committee on relations with the host country. The meeting was called at the request of the Russian Federation.
“When the Governor of New York state declared a state of emergency in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, we requested that the property be returned for use by mission personnel to reduce the risk associated with the spread of the coronavirus. In this regard, a note verbale was sent to the US Mission”Kuzmin said.
“We had hoped that at least humanitarian considerations, not to mention legal obligations, would prevail over political motives. But the United States did not respond to the note verbale from the Russian mission, telling our Embassy in Washington that we should not wait for a positive response,” the diplomat said.
According to him, the Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzia sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General, in which he asked to intervene in the situation and help return the property.
Kuzmin stressed that such steps by the US violate the provisions of the host country agreement.
In September 2017, the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, the trade mission in Washington, and the premises of the trade mission in New York were transferred to the American side at the request of the State Department. The state Department demanded to close them in response to a Russian proposal to reduce the number of employees of the US diplomatic mission in Russia. Access to the Consulate General for Russian diplomats was closed. Russia called these actions an unfriendly step and promised to go to court.