The State Department has ordered Russia to close three of its U.S. facilities by Saturday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the U.S. to reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 employees.
The Trump administration said the decision was made “in the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians,” and gave the Kremlin until Sept. 2 to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, D.C., and consular annex in New York City.
“With this action, both countries will remain with three consulates each,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. “While there will continue to be a disparity in the number of diplomatic and consular annexes, we have chosen to allow the Russian government to maintain some of its annexes in an effort to arrest the downward spiral of our relationship.”
The decision is part of a sanctions tit-for-tat that dates back months. The Obama administration accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 election, after which the U.S. expelled 35 Russian officials and banned Russia from using two facilities in the U.S.
Read more at the Washington Examiner.