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

State Department orders Russia to close San Francisco consulate

US orders Russia to close 3 diplomatic buildings

In addition to the San Francisco consulate, the State Department decision affects the residence for the consul-general in the California city as well as two buildings that housed Russia's trade mission to the USA in NY and Washington, according to the U.S. official.

"These closures will need to be accomplished by September 2".

"Russia and the United States will only develop effective cooperation if pressure, blackmail and attempts to force one's will on the other party are removed from their dialogue", Antonov said earlier this week. The Russians will still own the property, and they can choose to keep them or sell them.

The U.S. embassy and consulates' employees are largely Russian nationals, and there were reports that some 600 Russians would lose their jobs because of the cuts while 100 Americans would be forced to leave their posts.

"With this action both countries will remain with three consulates each", Nauert said.

In addition to its consulate, the Russians by Saturday must close an official residence in San Francisco. Annexes in NY and Washington that house trade missions also must close by Saturday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin held off on any retaliation, and the next month, Trump took office, having campaigned on hopes of improving U.S. -Russia ties. The pair will meet in September in NY.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also held a phone conversation with his United States counterpart, Rex Tillerson, and expressed his regret about Washington's move.

Mr Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov have frequently exchanged sharp words. It wasn't immediately clear whether the Kremlin would return the volley by retaliating for the USA retaliation.

The U.S. first responded to the staffing cut by temporarily ending nonimmigrant visa operations in Moscow.

"We waited for quite a long time that, perhaps, something will change for the better, we held out hope that the situation would somehow change", Mr. Putin said in an interview on state-run Rossiya 1 television, which published a Russian-language transcript on its website. The instruction is in retaliation for Russian Federation telling Washington in July to cut staff at its embassy and consulates.

Thursday's announcement by the State Department came as Russia's new ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, arrived in the U.S. capital to take up his post, Russian news agencies reported.

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