New York City police are investigating a possible bias incident after red paint was sprayed on the Russian Consulate.
Police received a 911 call around 1:30 a.m. Friday at the Upper East Side building and found that the facade of the consulate had been vandalized with red paint, according to police. There were no obvious words or symbols painted on the building.
As of Saturday, no arrests have been made, and the investigation remains ongoing, an NYPD spokesperson said.
The State Department said it was facilitating contact between the consulate and NYPD. When asked about claims on social media that the Russians say State has ignored their security requests, a senior State Department official said: ”We follow our diplomatic obligations.”
The incident came just hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees to annex four Ukrainian provinces. President Joe Biden described Russia’s claims of annexation as “phony” and having “no legitimacy.” Biden also announced new sanctions that the U.S. and its allies will impose on Russia.
“The United States condemns Russia’s fraudulent attempt today to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory,” Biden said in a statement Friday. “Russia is violating international law, trampling on the United Nations Charter, and showing its contempt for peaceful nations everywhere.”
Nahal Toosi contributed to this report.