Simonyan 'Pleased' With 'Hard-Hitting Questions' to US State Department

Simonyan 'Pleased' With 'Hard-Hitting Questions' to US State Department

RT and Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan is "pleased" with the "tough questions" for the US State Department about the inspections of Russian diplomatic properties.

Simonyan took it as a compliment that US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she felt she was being grilled by RT reporters during questions over the inspection of Russian diplomatic properties on Friday.

The statement comes after State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert joked during a press conference that reporters asking questions about US searches of Russian diplomatic facilities, which the United States ordered closed, were working for RT.

"The State Department said reporters asking hard-hitting questions were working for RT. Thank you, we are pleased!" Simonyan told RT.

Last week, the United States ordered the closure of Russia's Consulate General in San Francisco and two trade missions in New York City and Washington, DC, by September 2. After the Russian staff left the premises, the US side conducted inspections of the facilities.

According to Nauert, the inspections were carried out in accordance with the Foreign Missions Act and the Vienna Convention. The Russian side was present during the inspections in San Francisco and Washington, DC.

The seizures come in light of an escalating tit-for-tat between the two nations, following the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December 2016 and hundreds of US diplomats from Russia in July 2017.

The decision to close the Russian missions was taken by President Donald Trump personally, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters in Washington last week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he would instruct the Foreign Ministry to go to court regarding Russian diplomatic assets in the United States.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov informed in a telephone conversation his US counterpart Rex Tillerson of Moscow's intention to bring the issue to court.