03:14 GMT05 December 2020
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    US Closes Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, Entities in NYC and Washington (42)
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    Putin's aide has shed light on a statement previously made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said that Moscow will bring the work of the US diplomatic mission in Russia to "parity."

    SOCHI (Sputnik) — Russia has no specific plans to bring the number of employees of the US diplomatic missions in Russia to the same level as the number of Russian diplomats in the United States, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said Thursday.

    "It has been said from the very beginning that we count our mission there [in New York], that this is a reserve for the future, but there are no concrete plans in this situation," Ushakov told reporters.

    Ushakov's statement comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow will bring the work of the US diplomatic mission in Russia to full accord "with what is called parity." Later, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow plans to strip US diplomats of some "additional bonuses" they enjoyed while working in Russia.

    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.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Foreign Ministry to sue Washington over Russian property's seizure last week.

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


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