San Francisco, September 1: The action, counter-action game of US and Russia goes on since US‘s sanction on Russia. The cold-war era seems to be coming back in their diplomatic relation. As a mirror action of Kremlin’s order to cut US diplomatic stuff in Russia, the US to close Russia’s San Francisco consulate and two trade missions in response to "unwarranted" Russian action.
“The United States has fully implemented the decision by the Government of the Russian Federation to reduce the size of our mission in Russia. We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries. 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. These closures will need to be accomplished by September 2, ” a statement from US state department said.
The decision leaves both the countries with three consulates each. Though the disparity in the number of diplomatic and consular annexes will continue US did allow Russia to maintain some of its annexes to prevent the further downgrading of the bilateral relationship.
Russia has other three consulates in New York, Houston, and Seattle. But because of San Francisco’s proximity to Silicon Valley, it was almost as important as New York consulate. The two annexes housed Russian trade missions.
Russia showed measured steps in case of a reaction. The Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “expressed regret at the escalation of tension in bilateral relations”. Before giving any response, the Russian government would study the move of US carefully. New Russian ambassador to US Anatoly I. Antonov said it is important “to act calmly and professionally.”