U.S. orders Russian Federation to close 3 diplomatic buildings

The Consulate General of Russia in San Francisco

The first punishment, handed down by President Obama, forced Russia to move out of two diplomatic compounds in the USA and send home 35 Russian diplomats.

The United States has told Russian Federation to close its consulate in San Francisco and two annex buildings in Washington and NY, the State Department said on Thursday, a response to Moscow last month ordering cuts in the us diplomatic mission in Russian Federation.

According to Nauert, the US has fully implemented that order by removing 755 people from USA diplomatic posts in Russian Federation.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said the USA would respond by September.

The Russian offices must close by Saturday.

After Trump signed the sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a cut of about 60 per cent of us diplomatic staff in Russia by September 1. Moscow did not take action at that time to retaliate against the USA, ostensibly hoping to have warmer ties to the incoming Trump administration.

The State Department in its tweet claimed that the decision was an act to achieve parity.

The ministry also tweeted a video showing what it said were Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searching the Russian consulate in San Francisco.

"These closures will need to be accomplished by September 2", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in the statement.

Russia's consulates in New York, Seattle and Houston will remain open.

"In response the minister expressed regret at the escalation of tensions in bilateral relations", it said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Moscow is examining the USA demand for the closure of three diplomatic missions in the United States and will respond after further study.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and US President Donald J. Trump (R) meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, 07 July 2017.

Russia's top diplomat insisted Friday that Moscow wasn't interested in quarreling amid an escalating series of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions - accusing the USA of "performing a solo breakdance".

The US staff have till Friday to leave the country.

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