The Russian Foreign Ministry described on Sunday the seizure of Russian diplomatic mission in the United States as an “openly hostile act and gross violation of international law.”

Consul General Sergey Petrov said earlier in the day that the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco had stopped functioning. The diplomatic employees and members of their families have been allowed to live in the building until October 1. A State Department official said they would have “sufficient time” to pack their things and move out.

“We regard the incident as an openly hostile act, a gross violation by Washington of the international law, including the Vienna conventions on diplomatic and consular relations and the bilateral consular convention,” the ministry said in a statement.

The statement added that Moscow calls on the US authorities to change their mind and immediately return the Russian diplomatic facilities.

“Otherwise, the United States will be responsible for the continuing degradation of relations between our countries.”

The US State Department announced on Thursday that the Russian government was told to shut down three diplomatic facilities by September 2 in retaliation for Moscow’s decision to cut US diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people to 455.

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