The US State Department has ordered Russia to close its San Francisco office and diplomatic annexes in New York and Washington, D.C. in response to the Kremlin recently reducing the size of the US embassy in Moscow.
“In the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians, we are requiring the Russian Government to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, D.C., and a consular annex in New York City. These closures will need to be accomplished by September 2,” the US State Department said in press release.
Former President Obama expelled Russian diplomats in 2016 for Moscow’s involvement in the hacking of the 2016 US presidential election. More recently, Moscow seized US embassy property and ordered them to cut their staff, even reportedly kicking them out of one building without letting them get their belongings.
“We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries,” the State Department said. “With this action both countries will remain with three consulates each.”
State also said it was prepared to take further action if necessary, and hopes that the two countries can avoid further retaliatory actions, and improve relations and cooperation.
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