On Saturday, Russia Summoned the US deputy chief of mission in Moscow and issued a strongly worded note of protest, as US officials shutter Russian diplomatic facilities amid tensions between the two former Cold War foes.

The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry said it issued the protest note in respect of the US authorities' intention to search the Russian Trade Representation office in Washington.

Content of the protest note

The memo vehemently protested against what it described as an illegitimate search in the absence of Russian officials. The note stated that the US Special Services could likely seize the opportunity to organize a provocative action against Russia by planting implicative objects.

The statement added that the US must stop the abrupt violation of international laws and should also desist from breaching the immunity enjoyed by Russian diplomatic institutions. It further states, Russia reserves the right to retaliate on the action.

On Thursday, the Department of State said it would shut down the Russian consulate in San Francisco and its annexes in New York and Washington in retaliation of Russia’s ordering for the slashing US diplomatic employees in Moscow.

However, the State Department denied the allegations by Moscow, including the statement that the US threatened to break down doors. Department officials and Russian staff walked through the three Moscow’s diplomatic offices to carry out what US officials described as inspections to protect and secure the facilities to verify the Russian authorities had vacated the offices.

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Russia’s response

Department officials said the Russian government has complied with the US directives to vacate the three facilities, saying the Statement Department will allow families living in the facilities enough time to pack their belongings and move.

On Saturday, Russian Trade Representative in Washington, Alexander Stadnik, told journalists behind cameras that all Russians at the trade annex have left and documents have been transferred to the Russian Embassy in Washington.

A senior Russian official told reporters that President Vladimir Putin described the US decision as a raider takeover meant to heighten tensions with Moscow. He added that the new measures push the bilateral ties between both countries further into a deadlock.

The move to shut down three diplomatic facilities marks a new dimension in a series of a tense diplomatic rift between the two world powers, following the allegations by the US that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election campaign.