WASHINGTON – The United States is retaliating against Russia by forcing closure of its consulate in San Francisco and scaling back its diplomatic presence in Washington and New York.
The State Department says the move is in response to the Kremlin forcing a cut in U.S. diplomatic staff in Moscow. Spokesman Heather Nauert says the move brings the U.S. and Russia into “parity,” with each having three consulates in the other country.
US hopes to avoid further retaliation & move forward with improved relations & cooperation with #Russia https://t.co/M3frokDACn
— Department of State (@StateDept) August 31, 2017
Moscow forced the cut in U.S. diplomatic staff earlier this year in retaliation for U.S. sanctions. Washington had to reduce its diplomatic staff by 755 people.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said the U.S. would respond by September.
The Russian offices must close by Saturday. The order affects Russia’s “chancery annex” in Washington and a “consular annex” in New York.