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US Order Closing of a Russian consulate

01 September, 2017, 01:33 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • The target of new US sanctions is Russia, not Europe

"We are requiring the Russian government to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, DC and a consular annex in New York City", state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Thursday.

The State Department announced Thursday that the consulate, along with a facility in New York City and one in Washington, D.C., must be shuttered by September 2.

The move was a response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's order to the U.S.to close two diplomatic buildings, a warehouse and a recreational facility, and reduce its staff in the country by 755 employees. I asked Rogin where the diplomats would go and he confirmed that they would go to "A$3 ny of facilities in the United States the Russians choose". Russian Federation took that action after the US passed tougher sanctions rules on Russian Federation earlier this summer, legislation President Trump signed but called "seriously flawed". Additionally, the United States will not force Russia to reduce the size of its staff in the country and will allow them to operate in other USA -based Russian consular offices, a senior administration official told reporters in a conference call Thursday.

Citgo has a large presence in the United States and represents roughly five percent of US crude-oil refining capacity, according to the Wall Street Journal. Still, she said the US hoped both countries could now move toward "improved relations" and "increased cooperation".

The forced closures were the latest in an intensifying exchange of diplomatic broadsides with origins in Washington's opposition to Russia's actions in Ukraine and its interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Putin's move was a delayed reaction to President Barack Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and his seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds a year ago.

In addition to its consulate, the Russians by Saturday must close an official residence in San Francisco.

On July 27, Congress approved a new sanctions bill targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea. The Russian declaration had been a retaliation, in its own right, for the "insolence" demonstrated by new sanctions overwhelmingly passed by US lawmakers.

"It is our hope that the Russians will recognize that since they were the ones who started the discussion on parity", the administration official said, that "we're responding and complying with what they required of us".

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