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U.S. Orders Russia to Close Consulate

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and two diplomatic annexes, in New York and Washington, retaliating against Russia’s order for the United States to reduce its embassy staff in Moscow by 755 people.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson informed Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, of the tit-for-tat move in a phone call on Thursday morning. The administration took pains to say the move was purely reciprocal, and was not designed to further escalate tensions between the United States and Russia.

But, in a statement, the Russian foreign ministry said Mr. Lavrov “expressed regret at the escalation of tension in bilateral relations,” and said the Russian government would study the move before deciding how to respond.

Mr. Tillerson and Mr. Lavrov are expected to meet during the United Nations General Assembly next month.

“In the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians,” the State Department’s spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said in a statement, the United States would require Russia to close the three offices by Sept. 2.

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source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/31/us/politics/russia-consulate-close-retaliation.html

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