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U.S. Embassy In Moscow To Get New Address?

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow

Looking for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow could prove confusing in the near future.

City authorities in the Russian capital are set to consider a proposal from a deputy of the party of ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky to change the address of the embassy to 1 North American Dead End, according to a February 12 report by the Russian news agency Interfax.

The State Duma deputy who came up with the idea said the name would “honor” Washington’s “intrusive” foreign policy.

The move comes after the city council in the U.S. capital, Washington D.C., voted to rename the street in front of the Russian Embassy after slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, a move that has irked Moscow.

Nemtsov, a reformist politician and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead on a bridge near the Kremlin on February 27, 2015.

Relations between Washington and Moscow are at near Cold-War levels, with major disagreements ranging from the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, to Moscow's alleged meddling in the last U.S. presidential election.

A municipal commission will consider the proposal this month, Interfax reported on February 12.

The U.S Embassy's location in Moscow
The U.S Embassy's location in Moscow

Interfax said the request for the name change came from State Duma deputy Mikhail Degtyaryov, a member of Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.

Degtyaryov, the chairman of the Duma's Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism, and Youth Affairs Committee, made the suggestion in a January letter to the Moscow mayor’s office to rename the embassy’s address to 1 North American Dead End.

In his letter, cited by Interfax, Degtyaryov said “Moscow is an ancient, historical city, unlike Washington, with its teenage complexes.”

The current address for the U.S. Embassy is 8 Bolshoi Devyatinsky Pereulok.

Degtyaryov’s proposal would not change the name of that street, as he explained in his letter. “We are not going to change existing streets and even alleys because of some momentary political ambitions or disputes,” he wrote.

Degtyaryov instead would change the postal address of the embassy, reorienting it to what is now a nameless dead end alley and label that short strip of road North American Dead End. The U.S. Embassy building would be number 1.

The U.S. capital's city council voted on January 9 to rename the block of Wisconsin Avenue that is home to the Russian Embassy in honor of Nemtsov. The move was made official on February 6.

Nemtsov's assassination drew international condemnation and highlighted the dangers faced by Russians who oppose the Kremlin.

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    Tony Wesolowsky

    Tony Wesolowsky is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL in Prague, covering Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and Central Europe, as well as energy issues. His work has also appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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