According to a statement posted on the movement’s website, the so called embassy, also being referred to as a ‘cultural center’, will focus on promoting business and travel opportunities in California, hosting visiting Californians, and providing a platform for dialogue between the people of Russia and California.
— Yes California (@YesCalifornia) December 19, 2016
In a press conference on Sunday, Louis Marinelli, an outspoken political activist and president of Yes California, explained that the purpose of the movement’s presence in the Russian Federation is not to seek assistance from Moscow nor to deal with diplomatic issues, but rather educate Russians about California’s history, boost trade ties and promote tourism.
The Yes California Independence Campaign aims to hold a referendum in 2019 that, if passed, would bring California one step closer to becoming an independent country.
“As the sixth-largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland. Point by point, California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other states,” reads a statement on the movement’s website.
As Business Insider reported back in November, “far-fetched as it may sound, the plan started gathering steam after Tuesday night’s [November 8th] surprising presidential vote. The movement has an impressive backer in Shervin Pishevar, a well-known angel investor who offered to bankroll a campaign to secede.”
While some critics have dubbed the Yes California campaign as ‘separatist’, the movement claims to be nonviolent and operating strictly within the legal and constitutional framework of the United States.