I am writing on behalf of US diplomats concerning the recent announcement by President Putin that American diplomatic mission staff in Russia must be reduced by 755 employees to 455 to match the number Russians that work in the United States. We have also learned that the Russian government went forward and suspended the use warehouses in a southern section of the capital and the property in Serebryany by United States. This was an apparent responsiveness to new sanctions that the US Congress placed on your government, which in turn was a response to your governments involvement in the recently concluded presidential election. We would like to state that this will damage more the already ailing relationship between the two nations in the coming days.
The move taken by the Russian government is a serious diplomatic crisis at the moment, and it violates the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations has defined the privileges of diplomatic missions that enable diplomats to carry out their mission without fear of harassment from the host country. The statues of international law that are codified by the united nations in 1961 means that regardless of the nature of the relationship between the countries, the diplomatic mission in either country need to be respected and governments at any given time should not interfere with diplomats activities. We have noted that at the moment, the relationship between Moscow and Washington remain controversial and this should not provide an avenue of violating the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that has a precedent of being adhered to.
It has come to our knowledge that the cause of the current situation started during Obama administration. The two diplomatic standoff broke out last December when Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats stating that they were colluding with Moscow to interfere with the electoral process. The government considered mass removal of Russian diplomats from the US that included invading the diplomatic property, which is the actual sovereign territory of Russia. Three Russian diplomat post was seized by the in Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco. The US ambassador to Russia is reported to have warned against this move stating that Russia will respond forcefully, something that might lead to the expulsion of American diplomats from Russia. The Obama administration did not consider the warning, on the other hand, Moscow did not respond after receiving signals that the incoming administration of Trump would be more promising to Moscow. However, this did not happen after the United States claimed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and this widened the differences further. In response to this, the United States put more sanctions on Russia something we understand could have annoyed your president. It also came to our attention that president Putin had publicly admitted he hoped Trump would return the estates to Russia to show his commitment to the current diplomatic relationship when the two met in Hamburg; nonetheless, this did not take place. The United States had categorically stated that Russia was using the properties for intelligence gathering purposes but not recreational areas. The above events are critical contributors to the latest move the Russian government have taken, and Putin had also indicated that We waited for quite a long time that, perhaps, something will change for the better, we held out hope that the situation would somehow change,
As diplomats, we can blame your government neither can we blame ours, but what remains clear is the Moscow and Washington have failed to honor Vienna Convention, yet we are supposed to provide legal advice to our respective governments. Therefore, we have decided that we look for a way of bringing the current situation to an end bearing in mind the provisions of the Vienna Convention that both nations have violated in the recent past. Our resolution mechanism will base on various articles as provided in the Vienna convention. Vienna convention in the article stipulates that agents of receiving country are not required to enter the premises or properties of a mission without the knowledge of the ambassador. The article further indicates that the properties of the mission shall be protected from any search. After a keen assessment of all this provision, it is evident that the two nations have violated them in one way or another as far as mission premises and properties are concerned.
In article nine of Vienna convention, it is clearly stated that if there is no precise agreement on the size of the mission, the host nation might need that the missions size is maintained within limits which are viewed by the host state as sensible, bearing in mind environments and situations in the host state and to the requirement of that precise mission. In this case, sending state should stipulate the scope of the mission to the receiving state before deployment of its staff. The US diplomats have found that Russia has violated this provision by cutting the sending state workforce without considering the scope of the mission that could only be achieved by that labor force. While the United States was deploying its workforce, Russia was aware of this and agreed that the size was reasonable, how it became unreasonable after a period of time can only be explained by your government. Also, the article nine has gone forward and stated that the receiving state mighty equally within same bounds and on a non-discriminatory basis, refuse to accept officials. However, looking at the flow of the event, this was a retaliatory act from Russia when there are laid down mechanisms of handling the situation such as seeking legal mechanism. We therefore wish that the current stalemate can be solved if extensive structured negotiation are put in place.
We would be pleased to discuss this letter in detail in a diplomatic meeting that Moscow and Washington are currently arranging.
Looking forward to hear from you
Name US Diplomats Representative
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