US orders Russia to close consulate and two annexes

US orders Russia to close consulate and two annexes

WAAR-DUHOK:

Russia has been ordered to close its San Francisco consulate and two trade missions in response to “unwarranted” Russian action, the US has said.

The consulate, and annexes in New York and Washington, must close by Saturday.

The US state department’s move follows Moscow’s reduction of US diplomatic staff in Russia last month.

That in turn followed new US sanctions on Russia over Crimea and alleged election interference, which led to the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

President Barack Obama had ordered those expulsions, along with the closure of two compounds, last December.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin did not respond initially to that move, with Mr Trump set to assume office, he then announced on 31 July a reduction of 755 US diplomatic staff in Russia, in retaliation for the US sanctions.

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