USA asks Russian Federation to close its consulate in San Francisco

After US Orders Consulate Closure, Lavrov Warns It 'Takes Two to Tango'

The Trump administration on Thursday retaliated against Russian Federation for expelling hundreds of US diplomats, announcing it is requiring Russian Federation to close several posts in major American cities.

He spoke less than 24 hours after the U.S. State Department set a September 2 deadline for the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two other diplomatic buildings in Washington and NY used as trade representations.

While the US has ordered the closure of diplomatic facilities, the State Department is not seeking to expel any Russian diplomats at this time, according to the official. The move was in response to a Kremlin order in late July that the United States cut 755 of its diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to tell him that the United States has fully implemented the decision by the Russian government to reduce the size of the USA mission in the country.

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"We're responding in this instance to the Russian desire for parity in the diplomatic relationship", the official told reporters on background. Still, she said the US hoped both countries could now move toward "improved relations between our two countries and increased cooperation on areas of mutual concern".

Russia's foreign ministry on Friday (Sep 1) accused the USA authorities of threatening the "security" of Russian citizens and violating its diplomats' immunity with a planned Federal Bureau of Investigation search of the San Francisco consulate.

The Trump administration described its action as retaliation for the Kremlin's "unwarranted and detrimental" demand in August that the US cut its diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.

In other words, the political class that's been jockeying for a Cold War revival since long before Trump took the White House (a revival that was all but promised given a Hillary Clinton victory) is dying to hear talk of "firte and fury" from the president on Russian Federation.

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"It means the U.S.is declaring a hot phase in the diplomatic war".

The retaliatory U.S. move came as a September 1 deadline was reached for Washington to comply with a Kremlin demand to slash staff numbers at its Russian diplomatic mission by 755 personnel. They are in New York, Seattle and Houston.

The Trump administration described its action as retaliation for the Kremlin's "unwarranted and detrimental" demand in August that the USA cut its diplomatic staff in Russian Federation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that Moscow needs to analyze the latest USA move before responding.

The San Francisco Fire Department says acrid, black smoke seen pouring from a chimney at the Russian consulate in San Francisco was apparently from a fire burning in a fireplace.

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President Donald Trump's administration described its action as retaliation for the Kremlin's "unwarranted and detrimental" demand earlier this month that the United States cut its diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.

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