Comment by the Information and Press Department on a new violation of Russian diplomatic missions’ immunity in the United States

Thursday, 18 January 2018 14:16

We are gravely concerned about the fact that on January 17 Buzzfeed, a website claiming to be a news portal but in fact serving as an information tool of the US security services, published another batch of classified data on transactions performed by Russian diplomatic missions in the United States and several Russian Embassy employees, both current and former. It is obvious that this information could not have been posted without the knowledge of US officials.  

The website’s staff have admitted that to obtain comments from our diplomats they used contact information from their bank profiles. However, it is simply impossible to get access to such data without authorisation of US authorities. In other words, it is Washington officials who are responsible for violating the diplomatic immunity of bank accounts belonging to the Russian Embassy and its employees.

Moreover, a great deal of the published data has been intentionally falsified and again, like in November 2017, maliciously construed to fit within the framework of the United States’ campaign to accuse Russia of “interference in the US election.” However, in the case with these bank accounts, we are not just talking about fake news but about an actual criminal offence that, among other things, includes breaching the confidentiality of bank information and disclosure of personal data. 

Still, even such machinations have done nothing to help the Russophobic Americans – who judge others by their own standards – to produce any real claims against us for there is absolutely nothing reprehensible going on. Unlike the US Embassies, which often practice concealed transfer of funds to various opposition groups in the host countries, including with the purpose of destabilising the domestic political situation, Russia does not engage in such activity.

That is why the instigators of this anti-Russian provocation are looking for conspiracies in ordinary payroll transactions, wire transfers by the diplomats of their earnings to accounts at home at the end of their secondments and payments to construction companies for renovation works.

Once again, we have to note that Washington is not creating the needed conditions for Russian diplomatic agencies’ operation. They continue to be under growing pressure. This is a clear and systematic gross violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

We call for the United States to stop this practice and resume decent conduct, reliable and honest inter-state communication. We demand that US authorities finally begin respecting their own laws and international obligations, immediately stop the unlawful distribution of confidential information that affects Russia’s interests and hold the perpetrators to account, including those who hold posts in the US administration.

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