US Closes Three Russian Diplomatic Sites

Russia condemns 'blatantly hostile act' of US diplomatic evictions

Russia condemns 'blatantly hostile act' of US diplomatic evictions

The order closes the chancery annex in Washington and the consular annex in NY, which house the Russian trade missions to the United States. 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.

The U.S. Department of State announced Thursday that it is ordering the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two annexes in NY and Washington, D.C.

The abrupt facility closure is just the latest in a series of tense diplomatic moves between the two nations, following reports of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election, reports CNN.

A senior State Department official said USA officials and Russian embassy personnel were conducting walk-throughs of the properties on Saturday to ensure they were vacated and to "secure and protect the facilities".

The decision was in retaliation for Russian President Vladimir Putin kicking out more than 700 USA diplomats - after Trump, reluctantly, signed a sanctions law passed by Congress.

The latest US move caps eight months of back-and-forth retaliatory measures between the two countries spanning two USA administrations.

US Treasury Secretary Wants More Sanctions on N. Korea
Many conservative Republicans have indicated they will only vote for a debt limit bill that contains promises of federal spending cuts.

Both countries now maintain three consulates on each other's territory and ostensibly similar numbers of diplomats.

The U.S.is also ordering the closure of annexes in Washington and NY, the latest in a series of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Russian Federation.

"These closures will need to be accomplished by September 2", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in the statement.

"In response the minister expressed regret at the escalation of tensions in bilateral relations", it said.

The Department of State announced Thursday that it has ordered Russian Federation to close three consular facilities in the USA, the latest swipe in an ongoing diplomatic dispute between Washington and Moscow.

Meanwhile, the consulate itself has called the move an "unfriendly step" by U.S. authorities which would hit Russian nationals "hard".

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