In a reaction to Russia's expulsion of American diplomats, Trump's administration has ordered Moscow to close its consulate in San Francisco and also scale back its presence in Washington and New York City.
While many of 755 U.S. staffers had to expelled and return to the State Department, Washington is not asking to expel Russian staffers at the consulate and the annexes that were closed.
Russia's initial demand for a 755-person reduction in US diplomatic staff came in late July, a response to a bill passed overwhelmingly through Congress that imposed a fresh set of sanctions on the Russian government and put stiff restrictions on the president's ability to rescind those restrictions without Congressional approval.
Washington, Sep. 3 (PTI): The US seized control of Russia's Consulate in San Francisco and its two annexes in NY and Washington DC today after confirming that Moscow had complied with the Trump administration's order to vacate them within two days, officials said.
The closures will need to happen by Saturday, the State Department said.
During a Thursday morning phone call, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informed his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, of the completed staff reduction and the impeding order against Russia's consular facilities, a senior administration official confirmed Thursday.
Moscow said it will closely study the new measures announced by the Americans.
The government of the United States has given Russian Federation 72 hours to close three of its diplomatic facilities in America in retaliation for kicking out more than 700 U.S. diplomats last month.
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The closures, which have to be completed by September 2, are meant to achieve parity in the number of consulates each county has in the other. Russian representatives are also denied access to the rented premises of the Trade Representation in NY.
The expelled U.S. diplomats have until Friday to leave Russia - a day before the USA closures of the Russian consulate and two annexes, which are trade missions, must be completed.
That move was in turn a response to USA sanctions imposed on Russia, which were enacted by Congress in response to Russian election interference.
Recall, the United States authorities demanded to close the Russian Consulate in San Francisco.
The US staff have till Friday to leave the country.
The Trump administration order is the latest example of deteriorating relations between the US and Russian Federation.
"Of course, we can not afford to leave unfriendly, and sometimes hostile steps towards us without retaliation", presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russian state news agency TASS. The new sanctions passed by Congress conflicted with Trump's goals, but he grudgingly signed them into law this month. A State Department official said they would have "sufficient time" to pack their things and move out.
"Russia will no longer be permitted to use these facilities for diplomatic, consular or residential purposes", a State Department official told CNN earlier on Friday. With the latest closure orders from Washginton, "both countries will remain with three consulates each", she said.