05:22 GMT +322 January 2020
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    US Closes Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, Entities in NYC and Washington (42)
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    The United States is not expelling any Russian diplomats and they may be reassigned to different posts after Washington requested Moscow close three diplomatic entities, a senior US administration official said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The statement follows the State Department's announcement that the United States would require the Russian government to close three diplomatic facilities by September 2 because of the "spirit of parity invoked by the Russians."

    "We are not expelling any Russians at this time," the official said. "We have informed the Russians that they may be reassigned to other diplomatic or consular posts in the United States if they choose to do so."

    The official went on by stating the US Department of State cannot confirm if a series of Russian annex closures in the United States are permanent, but ensures the Kremlin still owns the buildings.

    "The buildings that are owned by the Russians will continue to be owned by the Russians and it will be up to them if they wish to sell those or dispose in some other ways," the official said.

    Moscow must close Russian annexes in San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. The facilities in New York and Washington served as trade missions while the annex in California served as a consulate.

    Since 2014, the relations between Russia and the United States deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine, several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions, accusations of Russia meddling in the US presidential vote, as well as against the backdrop of a number of differences on several international problems, such as the civil war in Syria.

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    US Closes Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, Entities in NYC and Washington (42)

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    consulate, U.S. Department of State, Kremlin, United States, Russia, San Francisco
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