British and American diplomats in Moscow will refuse to adopt new addresses for their embassies after officials renamed streets in honor of pro-Kremlin breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine.
City authorities renamed the area near the British Embassy on Monday, changing the building’s address to “1, Lugansk People’s Republic Square”.
The move comes less than two weeks after authorities similarly changed the official address of the US Embassy building to “1 Donetsk People’s Republic Square”.
British embassy staff said they would not use the new address, state news agency RIA Novosti reported. Thursday.
Diplomats reportedly told reporters that “the current address of the British Embassy in Moscow is listed on its official website”, where 10 Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya remain.
US officials, meanwhile, removed the embassy’s former address – 8 Bolshoi Devyatinsky Lane – from its website, referring only to the building’s location via its geographic coordinates.
London does not recognize the so-called People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, the British Embassy said in a statement this week.
“Renaming streets in Russia is the responsibility of local authorities, but it will certainly have no effect on the UK Government’s position on Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” the spokesman said. ’embassy. said in a Telegram message.
The Russian postal service has said that no letter will reach the British Embassy at its old address.
The official changes to the addresses of the American and British embassies followed the online votes on the platform managed by the Moscow City Hall.
Moscow councilors proposed the street name changes, prompting citizens to vote on their preferred name to honor the “defenders of Donbass”.
The predominantly Russian-speaking region of southeast Ukraine was the focus of concern during the Kremlin’s four-month invasion of the country, with Russian troops claiming they are “liberating” the region.
President Vladimir Putin formally recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states days before launching his full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24.