Zakharova also said that in accordance with an instruction given by President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Foreign Ministry was in the process of selecting a legal firm to start a court proceeding over the seizure of diplomatic properties. He also said that the Russian parliament already had experience with a "legislative response" to unfriendly actions of other nations, such as with the 2012 Dima Yakovlev law banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens or by proxy of United States organizations, and introducing asset freezes and entry bans targeting particular USA officials who had violated the rights of Russian citizens.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said Washington hoped that complying with the Russian requirements would mean both countries could stop trading retaliatory measures, RIA later reported. The US set a deadline of October 1 for diplomats from the consulate general in San Francisco to pack their belongings.
Russian Federation has drastically scaled down the US diplomatic staff in Russian Federation to 455 people and seized a USA dacha and a warehouse in Moscow in retaliation to Washington's actions.
"Obviously the Russian side has never agreed to its flags being removed", she added, calling the removal "a violation of a Russian state symbol".
"We demand an immediate end to the takeover of our property in the USA, which is accompanied by offensive actions", Mr Antonov added.
Commenting on the situation, a US Department of State official told that Russian flags were "respectfully" lowered by US officials at former Russian properties in Washington, DC and San Francisco, when the buildings were closed. US State Department officials, in turn, said that employees of the department made the round of the Russian premises after all diplomats had left them. However, the Diplomatic Security Service of the US State Department and its foreign missions department have taken the objects of the Russian diplomatic mission under control.