Trump administration retaliates against Russian Federation, forces closure of USA posts

Trump administration retaliates against Russian Federation, forces closure of USA posts

The order affects the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco and diplomatic annex buildings in both New York City and Washington, D.C. The State Department wants them closed by September 2. She added the USA hoped both countries could now move toward "improved relations" and "increased cooperation".

The U.S. Department of State, in a statement by Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the Department on Thursday, said the move was to achieve parity in diplomatic missions.

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

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of the closures in a phone call on Thursday, a senior Trump administration official said.

Moscow denounced the American decision to close three Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States as a "blatantly hostile act" that violated worldwide law and demanded Washington reverse the order on Sunday, Reuters reports.

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The US State Department, meanwhile, will control all access to the Russian properties, along with the responsibility for securing and maintaining them, authorities said.

The USA Today reported that in addition to the consulate, Russian Federation will now have to shut the official residence in San Francisco.

Obama took the decision on the eve of the end of his tenure in January in retaliation against Russia's alleged meddling in the November 8, 2016 US presidential election. The order affects offices in Washington and NY.

Moreover, the spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington, Nikolay Lakhonin, told reporters that the trade mission staff in the U.S. capital were blocked from accessing the building as of 14:00 local time on Saturday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered in July that 755 American diplomatic personnel leave Russia by Friday.

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Moscow forced the cut in retaliation over United States sanctions.

The move was in response to a demand from Moscow that Washington reduce its diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.

At the time, the USA also said it would start doing visa interviews only at the Embassy in Moscow and no longer at the consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.

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

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