US tells Russia to close consulate, buildings

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PV International Desk : The United States has told Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and buildings in Washington and New York that house trade missions, the State Department said on Thursday, in retaliation for Moscow cutting the US diplomatic presence in Russia.
The announcement was the latest in tit-for-tat measures between the two countries that have helped to drive relations to a new post-Cold War low, thwarting hopes on both sides that they might improve after US President Donald Trump took office in January.
Last month, Moscow ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by more than half, to 455 people to match the number of Russian diplomats in the United States, after Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against Russia. The sanctions were imposed in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and to punish Russia further for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
“We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Thursday, adding that the United States had completed the reduction.