US Security Services Act in Russian Diplomatic Facilities like Hurricanes in Florida
No sooner had America recovered from a most powerful hurricane Harvey and calculated losses than an even more powerful one, Irma, approached Florida from the Atlantic. It has already been called the most destructive one in the last 10 years. On its way to the US, the hurricane would lose strength only to regain it to the maximum 5th level. Today it approached Florida at its peak.
There are more than 6 million people at risk. Yesterday the state governor Rick Scott urged residents to evacuate immediately. For those who live in trailers the evacuation is obligatory. Today Donald Trump held a meeting with the government members to prepare for the hurricane and called on the citizens to urgently leave the zone of the alleged disaster, adding that this hurricane had an absolute historical destructive potential. The good news for us is that Harvey and Irma haven't yet been linked to Russia's revenge for the boorish closure of our consulate in San Francisco and two trade missions in Washington and New York. Why not? Wouldn't be surprising. They could also add flashes on the sun.
Right in the center of the disk of the nearest star, there was a gigantic release of matter, billions of tons. It frightened many, in some places even mobile phones malfunctioned. Anyway, big politics takes a back seat to the coming natural disaster. Our correspondent Alexander Khristenko has the details of the calamities. Killer hurricane Irma brought down multi-meter waves on the capital of Cuba, Havana, flooding the coastal areas, to move further, to Florida. America braced for it. Nearly a third of Florida's population, 6 million people, came under the evacuation. It is unknown how many people left. Some decided to stay or move 500 kilometers to the north-west from Miami, to Tampa. But now this city, as well as the city of Naples and American St. Petersburg are bracing for the blow after Irma has changed direction.
Donald Trump gathered an emergency cabinet meeting at Camp David country residence. The Federal Emergency Service has almost run out of money. 2 billion were spent to help Texas after Harvey hurricane. Washington is suffering a political storm. Trump has agreed with the Democrats, behind the Republicans' back, not only to raise the national debt ceiling to avoid default but also to cancel this annual procedure in the future. Then the government will be able to borrow money without restrictions. Meanwhile, the investigation against the Trump team is in full swing. The President's son, Donald Trump, Jr., has testified in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the so-called Russian case. The Russian-US bilateral relations have suffered another blow.
A large metal chain hangs on the gates of the Russian trade mission in Washington. As far as we can judge, there are at least 3 American officers on the territory. Judging by the black and white form, these are the State Department's Security Service officers. Curtains are closed on all windows. This is the mansion that belongs to Russia and which, at the request of the US authorities, has been left by the Russian diplomats. The appearance of our film crew didn't please those who are bossing in the building. They copied the journalistic accreditation number. To prevent close-up filming they parked two service cars with government numbers at the gate. Another guard is constantly on duty at the facade in front of the flagpole, that still bears the Russian flag. Now it seems to be reminding of the legitimate owner of this building.
Our economists used to work in this room. Offices that the employees left in haste, taking with them Russian property, the ancient staircase, the exquisite reception hall where negotiations were held. This is the last footage we filmed inside the trade mission a few minutes before the US representatives came here with impressive reinforcements. What is happening inside the trade mission is unknown. But this footage shows what Americans are doing in the Russian consulate in San Francisco. Contractors of the State Department are sawing and severing something on the floor in historical interiors.
As explained, they are separating the working area, which our diplomats left at the request of Washington within two days from the residential area, which is to be left by October 1. The officers of unnamed American services walked on the roof, looked into the corners, cabinets, hatches in the ceiling. The unprecedented actions of Washington — the host country, which is supposed to take care of the diplomatic buildings — also excited foreign journalists, which the State Department didn't clearly expect.
The Russian released a video showing US law enforcement officials conducting strange actions inside the Russian consulate building. Sorry, who are you working for? Chinese Central Television. CCTV, got it. The thing is that it attracted too much attention. Do you have any explanation? First of all, let me just say that Russian officials were invited to come along with us as we toured those facilities. And it's certainly our full authority to look around, I'll just stop at that. Wait, are you describing these actions as a «tour»? What do you want? Would you call this a «search»? They opened cases. I'd confirm they had opened cases, but I didn't talk to anyone who was there. The Russian Foreign Ministry called it a search and compared it with the raider seizure.
The State Department first talked about inspection, the term «tour» appeared at a briefing by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert. A tour sounds like sightseeing, as if you entered and said: «Wow, look at this wonderful picture!», while that was a search. It's a very serious activity. -It was… -It was a very serious activity. Does it comply with the diplomatic protocol? Is it the ordinary protocol? Sorry, what's your name? Bill Jones, Executive Intelligence Review. Hi, Bill. Journalist Bill Jones, who has long covered the State Department activities, was surprised at how blatantly this agency acted while occupying the Russian buildings and at its explanations that followed. Obviously, Ms Nauert must be a bit upset and puzzled by the fact that so many people are concerned about the invasion of the Russian diplomatic property.
Everybody saw it on TV. Everybody was a bit taken aback. Maybe, you don't know, but look around and try to find something, as the USA and law enforcement are already making the case against Russia. According to Jones, asking whether there is any clearly prescribed procedure to take away foreign diplomatic facilities, journalists got only ridiculous accusations. What does searching the Russian property have to do with parity? They asked many of our employees to leave our property in Russia. So, here we're trying to get back to parity. All this goes in line with the foreign missions act. All this was conducted in accordance with the Vienna conventions.
Could answer the following question, or at least think it over? Do you know any cases in Russia or any other country when the US diplomatic missions were expelled, when the US diplomatic facilities were searched by local FBIs? Are you all here working for Russia Today? Seriously. See, Matt, I can be funny, too! At least one normal process was launched when a new Russian ambassador to the USA, Anatoly Antonov, gave copies of his credentials to the State Department, submitting the originals to President Trump during an official ceremony at the White House, after which, according to protocol, the ambassador was taken to his residence by the car of the host country decorated with the flags of both countries.
We hope to improve relations between the two countries. I reiterated several times that it's crucial for international peace and security, not only for our bilateral relations. A kind of test awaits the US judicial system. Our Foreign Ministry intends to challenge in the American court the actions of the US authorities, who manage Russian state property as their own. The Russian embassy said that, despite another serious test, to which the bilateral relations were subjected, all of our diplomatic missions in the USA continue to operate normally. Alexander Khristenko, Nikolai Koskin, Elena Sokolova for Vesti News of the Week from the USA.