U.S. government enters Russian consulate in Seattle
It appears the U.S. Government is taking over the former Russian consulate in Seattle’s Madison Park.
The U.S. Department of State forced their way into the home Wednesday morning, according to the Seattle Times. Agents were able to gain entry into the house and are inspecting the residence.
Russian diplomats were seen leaving the house for good Tuesday, after the Trump administration told them to leave last month.
The Russian embassy said they locked the doors and kept the keys because the home is still Russian property. The U.S. State Department says while that’s true, the U.S. Government owns the land where the building is.
The following statements were tweeted out on the Twitter account for the Russian Embassy in the U.S.
9:52 a.m. – “US special services are trying to enter Russian diplomatic property in Seattle.”
9:53 a.m. – “US special services are trying to enter Russian diplomatic property in Seattle.”
9:56 a.m. – “Meanwhile, US security service employee is still trying to enter Russian diplomatic property in Seattle.”
10:25 a.m. – “US special services have just again entered [consulate General of Russia in Seattle].”
11:51 a.m. – “After breaking Russian diplomatic property’s gates lock … the intruders got inside.”
The consulate closed April 2. Diplomats were told to leave on the same date.
The closure came as the U.S. and more than a dozen European nations kicked out Russian diplomats as punishment for Moscow’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.
The Trump administration justified the closure by citing the consulate’s proximity to a submarine base, Naval Base Kitsap, as well as Boeing’s operations. Some believe the proximity to big businesses such as Microsoft were as much a target as the bases.
“The two most creative places on the face of the earth, arguably, are Silicon Valley and Seattle,” General Barry McCaffrey previously said. “I do think that was probably the principal threat to U.S. national security; it was against economic and intellectual interests.”