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US Tells Russia to Close San Francisco Consulate, Annexes

US Tells Russia to Close San Francisco Consulate, Annexes

US President Donald Trump personally took the decision to close the Russian Federation Consulate in San Francisco and the diplomatic buildings in Washington and NY.

The State Department has announced that Russian Federation has until September 2nd to close down a San Francisco consulate and two diplomatic annexes in Washington D.C. and NY.

"With this action both countries will remain with three consulates each", Nauert said in a statement.

"We regret escalation of tension not initiated by Russia", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after the announcement.

Russian diplomatic officials are working feverishly to finish emptying out their San Francisco Consulate and two United States annexes, which the USA has given them until Saturday to withdraw from as part of the latest U.S. diplomatic measures against them.

At the time, the USA also said it would start doing visa interviews only at the Embassy in Moscow and no longer at the consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok. They are in New York, Seattle and Houston.

Consul General Sergey Petrov said earlier in the day that the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco had stopped functioning.

Washington's move signals that "the U.S. [has] announced the hot phase of the diplomatic war" between the two countries, Chairman of the Duma's Foreign Relations Committee said.

"We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement about Russia's move.

The Trump administration order is the latest example of deteriorating relations between the US and Russian Federation. The Russian declaration had been a retaliation, in its own right, for the "insolence" demonstrated by new sanctions overwhelmingly passed by USA lawmakers. "But, as you know, it takes two to tango and so far we've been seeing our USA partners perform an individual break dance time and time again". President Trump reluctantly signed the sanctions into law. The expulsion forced the State Department to temporarily suspend the processing of U.S. visas in Russian Federation.

It urged the United States to stop the "gross violations" of global law and the encroachment on the immunity of Russia's diplomatic institutions.

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