01:28 GMT +323 September 2017
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    The Russian flag flies at half mast at the Consulate-General of Russia in San Francisco, California (File)

    US State Department Confirms Russia Vacated Consulate, 2 Diplomatic Entities

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    US Closes Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, Entities in NYC and Washington (38)
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    State Department official reports that Russian embassy personnel has left the consulate and two diplomatic entities in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC at the demand of the US.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia has left the consulate and two diplomatic entities in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC at the demand of the US side, State Department official told RIA Novosti Sunday.

    "Today, Russian embassy personnel together with State department officials walked through three properties in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC that the Russian government is required to close … The Department of State can confirm that the Russian government had compiled with the order to vacate its consulate and two entities. Russia will no longer be permitted to use these facilities for diplomatic or consular purposes," the official said.

    The official also noted that the Russian diplomats and their families, residing in the facilities, would have "sufficient time" for packing and moving out.

    On Thursday, the US State Department said in a press release that Washington had demanded that Moscow close down its Consulate General in San Francisco and two other diplomatic entities in New York City and Washington, DC by Saturday.

    On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that US Security services were planning to search the premises of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco and on Saturday the Russian Foreign Ministry published videos of searches in the aforementioned Consulate General and Russian Trade Representation in Washington.

    Washington’s move came after Moscow announced in July that the diplomatic presence of the United States in Russia would be scaled down by 755 people to 455, the same number of diplomatic personnel Russia has in the United States since late 2016, when 35 Russian diplomats were expelled from the United States.

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    US Closes Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, Entities in NYC and Washington (38)

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    diplomatic property, United States, Russia
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