This is a breaking news story.
The Trump Administration responded to Russia’s decision to expel hundreds of U.S. diplomats in the country by announcing a forced closure of Russia’s San Francisco consulate, as well as Russian annexes in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in August ordered that the United States must cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people.
Putin’s order was in response to economic sanctions on Russia that President Donald Trump signed in July, which were meant to punish Russia for its alleged hacking of the 2016 Presidential election.
The Kremlin seized two U.S. diplomatic properties in Moscow – reportedly a summer house and storage facility – and ordered that the U.S. reduce the number of diplomatic staff members at the U.S. embassy there.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the U.S. must reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people – the same number of Russian diplomats left in the U.S. after 35 Russians were expelled in December 2016.
This demand would reportedly mean that hundreds of Americans would be expelled from Russia. The U.S. has until September 1 to do this.
According to a release from the U.S. Department of State, the closures of the Russian consulate and annexes will need to be completed by September 2.
State Dept. announces closing of Russian consulate in San Francisco and New York as well as closing of chancery annex in D.C. pic.twitter.com/Bl3LBssGX9
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) August 31, 2017
With these three closures, both Russia and the U.S. will have three consulates each in the other’s country.