United States forces Russian Federation to close San Francisco consulate

Trevor Jackson
September 4, 2017

Spokesman Heather Nauert says the move brings the US and Russian Federation into "parity", with each having three consulates in the other country.

The first punishment, handed down by President Obama, forced Russia to move out of two diplomatic compounds in the USA and send home 35 Russian diplomats.

"We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries", said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement released Thursday. The US staff have till Friday to leave the country.

Russian diplomats were working to vacate the properties over the weekend, including the six-story consulate.

"We consider what has happened as an openly hostile act and a gross violation of global law by Washington", the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said in a statement Sunday.

The decision was conveyed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who according to Russian foreign ministry "expressed regret over the decision".

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Moscow further underlined that it considers the latest USA measure as "an aggressive action", which could also be used by United States intelligence to "orchestrate an anti-Russian provocation by planting compromising items".

However, Putin's move was not the origin of this round of diplomatic row between Russian and the United States and rather a delayed response to former U.S. President Barack Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and seizure of two Russian diplomatic facilities a year ago out of alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

The US sanctions were imposed in response to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and to punish Russia further for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded Trump's decision.

"It was started by the Obama administration to undermine US-Russia relations and to not allow (President Donald) Trump to advance constructive ideas or fulfil his pre-election pledges".

In her further comments, Zakharova described the searches in Russian diplomatic facilities as a "terrible folly", while at the same time arguing that they had been thoroughly calculated in advance. Trump denies any collusion by his campaign with Moscow.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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