The following is an excerpt from AFP.com | September 1, 2017 |
The United States on Thursday ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and two other installations in two days, a move Moscow greeted with "regret," as relations between the nuclear-armed powers took another dive.
The State Department said the decision was made "in the spirit of parity," after Moscow in July ordered a dramatic reduction of US diplomatic staff in Russia.
At the start of Donald Trump's presidency in January, the Republican leader said he hoped for improved relations with Vladimir Putin's Russia.
But after the US Congress approved new economic sanctions against Moscow over its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, Putin ordered drastic cuts in US staff in retaliation.
Along with the San Francisco consulate, the installations ordered closed were a chancery annex in Washington, where Moscow has a giant embassy complex, and a consular annex in New York.
"The United States has fully implemented the decision by the government of the Russian Federation to reduce the size of our mission in Russia," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
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