Friday, September 1, 2017

US Orders Russia To Close Consulate & Annexes In Diplomatic Reprisal

The Trump administration has ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and two diplomatic annexes, in New York and Washington, in a carefully calculated riposte to Russia’s order that the United States cut its diplomatic staff in Russia.

The tit-for-tat move, which Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson conveyed to Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, in a morning phone call, bore all of the hallmarks of a Cold War-era grudge match. But the administration seemed eager to contain the fallout, casting the move as a straightforward return to diplomatic parity between the countries rather than the latest volley in an increasingly combative relationship.

“In the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians,” the State Department’s spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said in a statement, the United States would require Russia to close the three offices by Saturday.

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