Russian consulate closure

This item appears on page 4 of the October 2017 issue.

On Aug. 31, the US Department of State ordered Russia to close its San Francisco consulate as well as two diplomatic annexes — in Washington, DC, and New York City — by Sept. 2. 

The State Department said the moves, which leave the US and Russia each with three consulates, were “in the spirit of parity,” citing Russia’s July 30 order for the US to reduce its Moscow-embassy staff by 755 employees to 455, matching the Russian diplomatic presence in the US, made after tough economic sanctions against Russia were passed by Congress earlier that month. 

The current diplomatic crisis goes back to December 2016 when, in response to accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the US seized two Russian properties in the US and ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.