Moscow Selecting Law Firm for Lawsuit Over Diplomatic Property Seizure by US

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is currently deciding on what US law firm will represent Moscow’s interests in court while fighting a case concerning the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.

“We are currently dealing with this issue, one of the United States’ large law firms will probably be recruited for these purposes,” Ryabkov said, adding that the entirety of the information about what happened would be transmitted to the chosen firm.

Ryabkov indicated that Moscow was looking for a knowledgeable firm possessing a profound understanding of the US judicial system, legislation, law enforcement practices and precedents that had existed and still existed in this field. Russia hopes that whichever firm is selected will manage to ensure an effective defense of Moscow’s position and a desired outcome in the case, according to the deputy foreign minister.

On Tuesday, Ryabkov said that Moscow would file a lawsuit against the closure of its diplomatic property in the United States within the coming weeks following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order last week.

On September 2, the United States shut down Russia’s Consulate General in San Francisco and trade missions in New York City and in Washington, DC. US officials said the move came in response to Moscow’s decision in late July to reduce the number of US diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people, the same number of diplomatic personnel Russia has in the United States.

After Russian diplomats left the diplomatic compounds, US security agents conducted searches inside the buildings. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the United States’ actions constituted a violation of international law, including the Vienna convention on diplomatic and consular relations.

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