Russian Consulate in NY Threatened With Bombing by Molotov Cocktails, Acting Consul Says

© Sputnik / Jeenah Moon / Go to the mediabankRussian Consulate in New York City. File photo.
Russian Consulate in New York City. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.04.2022
Russian diplomatic offices across Europe and North America have faced a heightened threat level over the past two months amid the Ukraine crisis. In March, an assailant attempted to set a Russian agency building in Paris on fire using a Molotov cocktail.
The Russian Consulate in New York City has been threatened with bombardment with Molotov cocktails, and faced a bomb scare last week, acting consul general Vyacheslav Slavkin has told Sputnik.

"We receive threats daily via email and phone calls in both Russian and English", Slavkin said. "One time we were told that we would be bombarded with Molotov cocktails. Another time, last week, we got a message about a planted bomb".

The bomb threat, which was sent by email to both the consulate and Russia's permanent mission to the United Nations, turned out to be false.
Slavkin indicated that enhanced security measures have been introduced at the consulate in light of the spate of threats, and noted that in addition to the threatening emails and calls, small anti-Russian protests are held near the consulate building on a daily basis.
New York police have been assigned to provide round-the-clock security, and have been informed of the threats against the building and its staff.
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Money Trouble

The consulate's accounts, held in the Bank of America, have been blocked since mid-March, and the mission is currently operating on emergency cash reserve funds, Slavkin said.
"We are strictly limited in our ability to pay for utilities, and cannot pay for gasoline, for insurance. We cannot pay for basic things necessary for a consulate to function," the diplomat complained.
Salary payments to employees have also been restricted, with the consulate deprived of the ability to issue cheques, and seeing its payment cards blocked. Slavkin did not specify how much of the consulate's funds have been restricted, but said the sum in question was "large."
The diplomat indicated that the consulate was working "very closely" with the State Department on the funding issue, with Washington promising to provide assistance in opening new accounts at another bank, but so far dragging its feet.
Despite these difficulties, Slavkin indicated that the consulate continues to carry out its duties as normal. "We are accepting citizens full time. There are no restrictions on any services, despite the fact that we have reduced the number of employees at the consulate nearly three times," he said.
A total of five people are working at the office at present.
Russia has an embassy in Washington, DC and consulates in New York and Houston. The US operates an embassy in Moscow and has consulates in Vladivastok and Ekaterinburg. The two countries have waged a back-and-forth diplomatic war for most of the past eight years, expelling one another's diplomats and closing consulates over a range of pretexts.
A bird flies past a Russian flag at the Embassy of Russia in Washington, DC on April 15, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
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US diplomatic facilities in Russia have yet to report any incidents or threats in connection with the crisis in Ukraine. However, the embassy in Moscow has issued a series of alerts in recent weeks calling on American citizens to stay out of Russia and for those already in the country to "depart immediately," citing limited ability to provide services due to "Russian government limitations on travel, the number of US stafff, and the ongoing [self-imposed - ed.] suspension of operations, including consular services, at US consulates".
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