In 'Spirit Of Parity,' US Orders Russia To Close Consulate, 2 Annexes

Trump Hopes for Better Relations between US & Russia

Trump Hopes for Better Relations between US & Russia

In an escalating tit-for-tat, the United States forced Russian Federation on Thursday to shutter its consulate in San Francisco and scale back its diplomatic presence in Washington and NY, as relations between the two former Cold War foes continued to unravel.

Slutsky is quoted by Russian news agencies as saying, "It's a highly unjust step".

Russia has said its initial move to expel American diplomats was retaliation to former President Barack Obama's decision to expel 30 Russian diplomats and their families and take control of two facilities that were allegedly used for spying - a decision made in response to Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. "We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries. We should act calmly and professionally", Antonov told RIA-Novosti.

Nauert said the United States hopes it could avoid further retaliatory measures by both sides and move toward improving relations between the two countries. At the time, Russian president Vladimir Putin said he hoped there would be no need for further reprisals but secretary of state Rex Tillerson later vowed to respond by September 1.

The U.S. isn't expelling any Russian officials, so those who work at the shuttered offices can be reassigned elsewhere in the U.S., the official said.

"As Lenin said, hysterical impulses are of no use to us".

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However, the United States retains the right to take additional moves against Russia, Nauert warned. The New York and Washington, D.C. annexes serve as trade missions, according to one senior administration official. The official says Russia will continue to own the buildings that house the Russian posts.

That will leave each country with three consulates in place, Nauert said, explaining the USA will keep some of its annexes "in an effort to arrest the downward spiral in our relationship".

Add yet another verse to the ballad of crumbling U.S.

In July Russia demanded more than 700 US diplomats stationed in Russia be immediately expelled from the country after Congress passed new sanctions on a number of government officials close to President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday expressed "regret at the escalation of tensions in bilateral relations". The order affects Russia's "chancery annex" in Washington and a "consular annex" in NY.

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