U.S. officials 'respectfully' took down Russian flags - State Department

U.S. officials 'respectfully' took down Russian flags - State Department

"I really do not rule out a scenario in which Russia, in reply to the United States law tightening the anti-Russian sanctions and absolutely unlawful actions targeting our diplomatic property, apart from all measures taken on the diplomatic level could develop a special draft law", TASS quoted Leonid Slutsky as saying on Thursday. Tillerson is hosting Lavrov to discuss Syria, Ukraine and other bilaterial issues, according to the State Department.

The Russian Embassy to the United States said on its Russian-language Twitter account that flags were "stolen" from the building, and called it "the latest shameful event" in a series of tit-for-tat diplomatic reprisals between the countries this year.

In a telephone call, Lavrov told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the move went against efforts to fix ties between the two countries, which have become increasingly strained. On Wednesday, US authorities ordered the removal of the flags at the Consulate General in San Francisco and at the Russian Trade Representation building in Washington, DC.

Russian Federation does not rule out ordering the United States to cut its diplomatic staff in Russian Federation to 300 people or fewer, RIA news agency quoted senior Foreign Ministry official Georgy Borisenko as saying on Wednesday.

"Such steps only complicate US-Russian dialogue", Antonov said in televised remarks. "We demand an immediate return our state symbols to their place and prevents such incidents in the future".

Weah Takes Early Lead in Liberia Presidential Election Count
The former Fifa World Footballer of the Year has long turned a politician with aspiration to be Liberia's President. He added: "We are calling on NEC to immediately halt further announcements of election results".

Moscow eventually ordered the United States diplomatic mission in Russian Federation to cut its staff to 755 people to bring parity to the number of dignitaries in both countries.

The dispute is the latest twist in tortured ties between the U.S. and Russian Federation, which have slumped to their lowest point since the Cold War following the Kremlin's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

In early August this year, US President Donald Trump signed a bill imposing new sanctions on Russian Federation - and also on Iran and North Korea - simultaneously stating that the motion was "seriously flawed" and blasting the US Congress for applying pressure to see the bill signed into law.

The situation was supposed to improve when US President Donald Trump was sworn into office on January 20, but bilateral relations have not improved to the extent some had hoped they would.

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