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A dangerous precedent being set by US actions against Russia

Russia concurs with Julian Assange’s statement on the matter.

While many pundits rush to pat themselves on the back for being the first to postulate that the US violations of international law which are implicit in the FBI’s searches of Russian diplomatic properties in the US sets a worrying precedent for Julian Assange, this is not an original thesis. Far from it, it was actually theorised by Julian Assange himself.

On the 14th of July, 2017, Julian Assange laid out the legal case for why Barack Obama’s confiscation of Russian diplomatic properties in the US dating from December of 2016, was illegal and cited the appropriate provisions of international law, including and especially the Vienna Conventions.

The full set of Twitter based statement from Assange as well as my analysis at the time can be viewed here.

The recent actions by the Trump administration violate the Vienna Conventions even further as the FBI continues to conduct visible searches of the properties which is a further violation of Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

If the US can break into and search Russian diplomatic property under the guise of largely meaningless disputes, could the US or its proxy authorities in the UK do the same to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in which Julian Assange is currently enjoying asylum from the Ecuadorian authorities? Now that such a dangerous precedent has been repeatedly set by the United States, the answer is sadly, yes.

If the US could act so brazenly with the diplomatic facilities of a nuclear superpower, one could only imagine what the US and its proxies could do in respect of the smaller embassy of a much poorer and less powerful nation, in this case Ecuador.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has made it clear that it shares Assange’s views on the illegality of US actions.

“On September 2, the US authorities seized the buildings of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco and the Trade Mission in Washington, which are in Russian property and enjoy diplomatic immunity. Russian representatives are also denied access to the leased premises of the branch of the trade mission in New York.

This outrageous step follows the actual expropriation in December of last year of Russian-owned suburban diplomatic complexes near Washington and New York. In the occupied buildings, the US special services are now hosted with the support of the armed police.

We regard the incident as a frankly hostile act, a gross violation by Washington of international law, including the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations, the bilateral Consular Convention.

We call on the American authorities to come to their senses and immediately return Russian diplomatic facilities. Otherwise, the entire blame for the continuing degradation of relations between our countries, on which the state of global stability and international security largely depends, will lie on the US”.

Assange has once again Tweeted Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Convention along with an accurate statement on the illegality of US actions against the Russian diplomatic properties in the US.

For now Assange is safe, but for how long? A very dangerous precedent has been set by the most aggressive nation on earth, which also happens to be the nation whose leading officials have repeatedly called for Assange’s imprisonment and even execution.

READ MORE: US actions against Russian diplomatic and consular property are illegal–here’s why

 

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