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Trump Admin Demands That Certain Russian Consulates, Annexes Be Closed

Trump Admin Demands That Certain Russian Consulates, Annexes Be Closed

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said the USA would respond by September.

Then-President Barack Obama in December announced the expulsion of four employees and their families at the Russian consulate at 2790 Green St.in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood.

The U.S. State Department has ordered Russian Federation to shutter its consulate general in San Francisco as well as an annex building in New York City and one in Washington, D.C.

Russian officials immediately condemned the order to shutter the compounds, saying it marked another blow to an already deteriorating relationship with the U.S. The U.S. now operates consulates in the Russian cities of Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok, in addition to the embassy in Moscow. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the new batch of sanctions made efforts to improve relations between two states very hard.

Russia Today reported that Lavrov responded to the closures by "expressing regret" over the escalation of tensions.

Moscow will carefully study the new measures the U.S. announced and will inform Washington of its reaction.

"But I want to say that this whole story with (the two countries) exchanging tit-for-tat sanctions was not started by us". Trump criticised the decision from the lawmakers, but signed the bill into law.

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not initially respond to then-President Barack Obama's sanctions, but announced the sharp reduction of USA staff in July.

In December, the administration of Barack Obama closed two Russian countryside vacation retreats in Maryland and NY, saying the compounds had been used for intelligence-related purposes.

The State Department said the Russian government had complied with the order to close operations by Sunday, and said no diplomats were being expelled as result of the closures. Last December, the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two diplomatic compounds in the US, a move described as retaliation for Moscow's interference in the 2016 USA presidential elections.

White House officials later told reporters the president was being sarcastic.

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