U.S. orders Russian Federation to close 3 diplomatic buildings

U.S. orders Russian Federation to close 3 diplomatic buildings

Nauert said the U.S. wants to avoid additional retaliatory measures by either side and work toward improving bilateral relations, but "the United States is prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted".

The State Department has announced that Russian Federation has until September 2nd to close down a San Francisco consulate and two diplomatic annexes in Washington D.C. and NY. The consular annexes to be closed in NY and Washington contain Russian trade missions, the official said.

Despite the closure the Russian diplomats don't need to go back to Russia.

The State Department fired the latest shot in an ongoing diplomatic spat with Russia, demanding the almost immediate closure of three Russian diplomatic facilities in San Francisco, Washington, and NY. After a month of mulling it over, they have made a decision to close three Russian diplomatic missions in the U.S., a move which the U.S. Department of State calls "parity" even as they admit the response is proportionally much smaller than what Russia did.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in a phone call that the U.S. had complied with Putin's directive and informed him of the order to close Russian diplomatic facilities.

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Russia's Foreign Ministry in August ordered the US embassy to reduce its diplomatic presence to 455 diplomats and staff by September 1, after the US Congress approved new sanctions against Russian Federation. The diplomat also expressed her indignation, saying that USA law enforcement agencies were looking for an explosive device in the compounds, which, in her opinion, was an unjustified move driven by several years of anti-Russian rhetoric, peddled in the United States.

Those sanctions were imposed as punishment for what United States intelligence agencies concluded was Moscow's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, as well as Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that Lavrov "expressed regrets over the escalation of tensions in bilateral relations, which were not initiated by us".

US President Donald Trump took office in January, saying he wanted to improve ties.

Lavrov made his comments a day after the U.S. State Department issued a September 2 deadline for the Russian Consulate in San Francisco to close its doors.

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