The US has ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco. The order also includes two annexes in Washington and New York. The consulate and the two annexes have been ordered to close by Saturday.
The announcement comes just weeks after the US was ordered by Russia to reduce staff. The reduction of US staff came after the US sanctioned Russia over Crimea and the alleged election involvement.
A month before Barack Obama left the office, he ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. The order also included the closure of two compounds. Nearly eight months after the order, Russia told the US to reduce staff. The reduction was of 755 US staff in Russia. A villa that officials and reporters would often visit was also closed.
With the closure of Russia’s consulate in San Francisco, there are now three remaining for the country in the US. A senior administration official said on Thursday that the residence that’s part of the consulate will also be closed. He added that the staff will not be asked to leave the country. According to the official, Russia will be able to keep the properties but not use them.
The US staff told to leave the country last month have until Friday. The date is just 24 hours before Russia’s consulate in San Francisco and the two annexes in Washington and New York are closed.
A few days ago, US President Donald Trump said US relations with Russia were at a dangerous low. The recent closures and reduction in staff have left US and Russia with three consulates.
Russia’s Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State reportedly spoke in a phone call on Thursday. The Russian Foreign Ministry also released a statement saying that Moscow would look at the order and respond accordingly.