The outgoing US ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, defended the expulsion of Russian diplomats from seized consular property in the United States amid an increasing strain in diplomatic ties.
In a joint interview Wednesday in Moscow with the Russian services of VOA News and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Tefft rejected statements in Russian media that the seizing of diplomatic property in San Francisco, New York and Washington was done in what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a "boorish and unprecedented" fashion.
Putin accused US authorities of threatening to "break down the entrance door" of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco after Washington set a September 2 deadline for the premises to be evacuated.
"Nobody broke down doors. Nobody put undue pressure on people. It was all done very, very carefully — and, in compliance with the Vienna Conventions," Tefft said.