US denies breaking into Russian diplomatic apartments in San Francisco
An uniform United States Diplomatic Security Service officer is seen at the entrance of the closed Consulate General of Russia in San Francisco, California, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

The U.S. State Department denied Russian assertions on Tuesday that U.S. officials had broken into residences at the Russian consulate in San Francisco, saying security officers had merely checked to ensure the building had been vacated by a required deadline.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States had given Russian families living at the consulate an extended deadline of Oct. 1 to vacate the residences. The move was part of an ongoing spat between the two countries.

Nauert said State Department diplomatic security and representatives from the Foreign Missions Office then entered the area to "just walk through, look around. The purpose of that is to make sure that people are no longer living there."

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Washington Newsroom)