The United States has ordered that Russia shut down its Consulate in the major California city of San Francisco.
According to the US State Department:
“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, DC, and a consular annex in New York City. These closures will need to be accomplished by September”.
Russia has stated that the move will cause great inconvenience to both Russian and US citizens.
During his final full month in office Barack Obama seized Russian diplomatic properties in the US in violation of the Vienna Convention. At the same time the Obama administration kicked out numerous Russian diplomats and their staff.
This summer, Russia ordered the US to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people, thus achieving parity with Russian diplomats and staff in the US. The move was a delayed retaliation for Obama’s property seizures and diplomatic expulsions after Moscow came to the conclusion that the Trump administration was not going to be cooperative in addressing the issue.
The move to close the Russian Consulate in San Francisco is therefore a new salvo in the diplomatic war with Russia begun during the lame duck period of the Presidency of Barack Obama, one which continues under the Trump administration.