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US Could Shut Russian Consulate Over Diplomatic Ouster

© AFP 2021 / SAUL LOEBThe US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, April 28, 2017
The US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, April 28, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Washington could order one of Russia’s four consulates in the United States closed in retaliation against its decision to kick out hundreds of US diplomats over a similar move, US diplomatic sources told a Russian newspaper.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — President Vladimir Putin has ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people to 455, the same number of diplomatic personnel that Russia currently has in the United States. The Kremlin said it was a tit-for-tat reaction to the 2016 ouster of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctions passed by the US Congress in July.

A worker of Russian gas and oil giant Gazprom works on February 18, 2015 in Novoprtovskoye oil and gas condensates oilfield at Cape Kamenny in the Gulf of Ob shore line in the south-east of a peninsular in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, 250 km north of the town of Nadym, northern Russia - Sputnik International
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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Monday the US administration would respond to the expulsion by September. Sources in the US State Department told Russia’s Kommersant newspaper Washington considered Moscow’s move as escalation and could further reduce Russian presence by closing a consulate.

Russia has four consulates in the United States – in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Houston – while the United States has three – in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.

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