06:18 GMT +324 September 2017
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    This photo taken on May 7, 2013 shows Russian and the US flags running up as the US Secretary of State arrives at Moscow Vnukovo Airport

    Lavrov: Moscow to Equalize Terms of Work of Russian, US Diplomatic Missions

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    US Closes Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, Entities in NYC and Washington (38)
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on Monday on the closure of Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States, saying that Moscow will bring the work of American missions in Russia to full accord "with what is called parity."

    AMMAN (Sputnik) — Moscow will bring the working conditions of the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States and US missions in Russia to full parity, Lavrov said.

    "The United States… as it were… said: if the Russians want parity, then they should close one of the four consulates general because we have only three consulates general in Russia," Lavrov stated. "If they have taken parity as a criterion, we are now considering the conditions in which US foreign institutions operate in Russia and Russian ones operate in the US. And we will bring these conditions to full accord with what is called parity," he said.

    In August, the United States demanded that the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, the trade mission in Washington and the branch of the trade mission in New York suspend their operation from September 2. After Russian diplomats left the diplomatic compounds, US security agents raided the premises.

    The move came as a response to Moscow's order to cut the US diplomatic presence in Russia to 455 people. This is the same number of diplomatic personnel that Russia has had in the United States since then-US President Barack Obama's ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December 2016.

    Since 2014, relations between Russia and the United States have 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 (38)

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