|Photo: Mirek Zagórski|
January 2, 2017 – Fort Russ News
Yury Melnik, First Secretary at Embassy of Russia in Washington, D.C., Facebook post
Translated by Kristina Kharlova
72 hours ‘generously’ gifted by the White house to three dozen Russian families to pack up and leave the States has run out. The order made under a false pretense has been fulfilled.
Any Russian Embassy, Consulate, trade mission – is a family. In the sense that by the will of fate we live and work together. Today, our family became smaller. We said goodbye to dozens of colleagues and comrades, friends, our kids parted with their favorite teachers and classmates until we see them some day at home. Diplomats, teachers, doctors and many others – a total of 96 people from small to big, not counting those who returned to their Motherland in the womb.
I admire the vitality, optimism, and patience of these people. Last days of the old year they spent without sleep and rest, packing and uprooting everything they planted in America, all household obligations accumulated over the years which require attention upon departure. Glancing at my modest belongings, I catch myself thinking that it is impossible to transfer it all in a couple of days into a transportable form. And they had done it.
Thanks to everyone who expressed interest and compassion. And God is the judge of those who tried to create a media sensation on the difficulties of ordinary people, absolutely not understanding the matter, who was gloating and celebrating. Ugly, vile and stupid trolls, following the authors of this spectacle.
The Embassy is closed for the holidays, but we worked, are working and will work. Because we need normal relations between our countries.
It’s so difficult to remain diplomatic… but we will.
If you check our Facebook posts, tweets, our public statements – the message is always the same: our nations can and should be friends for the sake of well being of our people, for security and stability in the world.
But today we have very different, very undiplomatic feelings.
We hate to have to say goodbye to close to a dozen of our colleagues, our friends. They will fly back to Russia on the December 31, meeting the New Year while in flight. The three kids will not see Santa, or gifts under the Christmas tree (in Russia it happens on the New Year eve). They only have one day to finalize their financial affairs, terminate their apartment leases, pack their belongings, as well as to prepare for the long trip, first to Los Angeles by car and then by plane to Moscow – no tickets left for shorter and more comfortable itineraries.
Why it all happened? They were qualified as “intelligence operatives”. Bizarre and ridiculous. One of the person who is expelled has been the chef of the Consulate. Coming from the historic city of Yaroslavl he is a professional cook, whose mastery was enjoyed by hundreds of our guests at the Consulate for three years. He will be leaving with his wife and two-year old son.
We strongly condemn the unfriendly and completely unjustified step taken by the outgoing US administration. Read the text of its yesterday release – it still misses evidence of a link between the hacking of some computer networks in the US and the Russian Government. Not a single fact. Just unsubstantiated accusations, accusations…
We will not be able to treat you with authentic Russian food any more, but we will continue – through limited in number – to do our best to provide services to Russian and American citizens, will remain friends of American people working to bring our nations closer together.
And we will remain human.