US Closes Russian Consulate in San Francisco

Rex Tillerson U.S. secretary of State speaks during a meeting with Chrystia Freeland Canada's minister of foreign affairs not

In response to a Russian government demand for the United States to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 455, the Trump administration ordered the closure of three consular offices in the San Francisco, New York and Washington.

The U.S.is also ordering the closure of annexes in Washington and NY, the latest in a series of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Russian Federation.

"The Russian government has a long history of harassing American diplomats, and for the last eight years, President Putin has been emboldened by, among other things, the lack of consequences for these actions", Corker said.

Spokesman Heather Nauert says the move brings the US and Russian Federation into "parity", with each having three consulates in the other country.

"We regret escalation of tension not initiated by Russia", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after the announcement.

The move by Washington was in response to Moscow's decision to cut American diplomatic staff in Russia to numbers equalling Russian staff in the USA and seizing two U.S. properties in Moscow.

There are three other Russian consulates separate from the embassy in Washington.


According to Nauert, the USA has fully implemented that order by removing 755 people from US diplomatic posts in Russian Federation.

"Moscow will closely study the new measures announced by the Americans, after which our reaction will be conveyed", said the the Russian foreign ministry.

Russian diplomats were working to vacate the properties over the weekend, including the six-story consulate.

"I hope that we do have good relations with Russia", Trump said at a joint press conference with visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

"President Trump continues to say the same, and President Putin has expressed his interest many times, but this should be a two-way street based on mutual respect".

But Russia did not react well to the move, even though no Russian personnel are being expelled, and those who work in the closed facilities are allowed to be reassigned to other diplomatic or consular locations within the US, according to The Hill.

Russia's consulates in New York, Seattle and Houston will remain open.

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