Trump Personally Decided to Close Russian Embassy in San Francisco

Trump Personally Decided to Close Russian Embassy in San Francisco

Trump Personally Decided to Close Russian Embassy in San Francisco

The U.S. move, announced on Thursday in Washington, came in reaction to Russia's decision to make the United States cut its number of diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.

In response to enforced staff cuts at the U.S. mission in Russian Federation, the State Department announced on Thursday that it would require Moscow to close the San Francisco Consulate General, as well as annexes in Washington D.C. and NY.

She said the closures would need to be completed by September 2.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Russia's foreign minister Sergey V. Lavrov about the punishment in a phone call Thursday and sought to reassure him that the U.S.is not trying to ratchet up tension.

And in the announcement Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said this was another step "in the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians".

The U.S.is prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted, Nauert warned.

The facilities to close are a San Francisco consulate, annexes in Washington and NY. Mr Tillerson and Mr Lavrov will likely meet in NY in September according to the State Department.

On Friday, the consulate in San Francisco said it would stop operations a day early.

But a diplomatic cable sent to USA overseas posts and obtained by The Associated Press said "limited visa services" are resuming Friday.

Russia's expulsion of USA diplomats in July was in response to an Obama administration closure of Russian diplomatic facilities in the US last December. President Trump reluctantly signed the sanctions into law.

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.

Sr State official confirms U.S. officials entered vacated Russian properties in DC, NY and SF, denies claim USA threatened to break down door.

The State Department said the move was in response to "unwarranted" action by Russian Federation.

There was no immediate reaction from the Russian government.

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