US Demands Russia Close San Francisco Consulate, Annexes

The United States has ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and two other annexes by this weekend, the State Department said Thursday.

The move was in response to a demand from Moscow that Washington reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia.

“In the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians, we are requiring the Russian Government to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, D.C., and a consular annex in New York City,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement Thursday, adding that the deadline for the closures is September 2.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed his “regret” about the closures shortly after the announcement was made.

Thursday’s announcement marked the latest chapter in a diplomatic spat largely caused by new U.S. sanctions on Russia put in place last month.

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