Published: Sat, September 02, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

State Department Hits Back At Russia For Kicking Out US Diplomats

State Department Hits Back At Russia For Kicking Out US Diplomats

Russia's initial demand for a 755-person reduction in USA diplomatic staff came in late July, a response to a bill passed overwhelmingly through Congress that imposed a fresh set of sanctions on the Russian government and put stiff restrictions on the president's ability to rescind those restrictions without Congressional approval.

On Thursday, the US State Department demanded closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, as well as two annex buildings in Washington and NY.

Russian officials said that demand was Moscow's response to a US law strengthening sanctions against Russia over issues including its alleged meddling in the USA presidential election in 2016. While the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov expressed regrets over the decision made by the United States, the usa state department announced that more measures could be taken in future. The USA Today reported that in addition to the consulate, Russian Federation will now have to shut the official residence in San Francisco.

Lavrov defended Russia's decision to cut US diplomatic staff as reciprocal reaction to the USA expelling Russian diplomats last December. But given the back-and-forth nature of the escalating tensions over the past year, it was likely the Kremlin would feel compelled to respond by taking further action against the U.S.

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But the State Department's response seemed calculated to avoid deepening the rift with Russian Federation.

According to the BBC, "no Russian staff would be required to leave the country" when the consulate and trade missions close.

On Thursday evening, the U.S. announced new restrictions on the work of Russian diplomatic representations in the United States, according to which the General Consulate of Russia in San Francisco and consulates in Washington and NY will closed on September 2. And with each move, each government insists they are only evening the score. The country has 48 hours to comply. -Russian relations, and described their phone call as professional. "Speaking like Lenin, we don't need hysterical impulses", citing a Lenin maxim.

Outside the consulate building high atop a hill overlooking the San Francisco Bay, there were no visible signs of an exodus Thursday.

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Back in July, Russia kicked 755 American diplomats out of the country in retaliation for the USA closing some of their stateside facilities it was said where used for spying.

North Korea, which claims Washington has long threatened it by flaunting the powerful US nuclear arsenal, describes the long-range B-1Bs as "nuclear strategic bombers" although the United States no longer arms them with nuclear weapons.

Both countries now maintain three consulates on each other's territory and ostensibly similar numbers of diplomats.

The tit-for-tat action came after Russian President Vladimir Putin in July ordered the United States to reduce the number of diplomatic personnel in Russia by 755, in response to us sanctions on Russia over its alleged intervention in the 2016 USA presidential election.

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