Is Trump a Fan of 'Electric Boogaloo'? Russia Seems to Think So

02 September, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Ora Austin
  • The US said the closures needed to be completed by Saturday

Russia's foreign ministry expressed "regret at the escalation of tensions" and said it would "examine the new measures announced by the Americans in detail after which our reaction will be announced".

Two senior Russian lawmakers, however, who often signal the Kremlin's position on worldwide affairs, suggested that a symmetrical response to the USA actions might not be necessary.

However, Putin's move was not the origin of this round of diplomatic row between Russian and the United States and rather a delayed response to former U.S. President Barack Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and seizure of two Russian diplomatic facilities a year ago out of alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

In a sharply worded statement, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the State Department had complied with Russia's demands and had made its own "in the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians".

The former USA president expelled 35 Russian diplomats, and closed two compounds over Russian action in Crimea and alleged interference in the United States election.

Mr Lavrov hinted on Friday Russia might look at ordering further reductions in USA embassy staff, suggesting Moscow had been generous last time by allowing Washington to keep "more than 150" extra people.

The Russian envoy said that Moscow would respond without "hysterical outbursts". The most notable facility in question is Moscow's traditional listening post to Silicon Valley in San Francisco. The two affected annexes, the official said, housed Russian trade missions.

The San Francisco Fire Department sent a crew to investigate, but was ultimately turned away by consulate workers. Consular officials walked in and out of the building, and Russian citizens who had scheduled appointments said they were able to pick up or renew their passports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not initially respond to then-President Barack Obama's sanctions, but announced the sharp reduction of U.S. staff in July.

Trump, Saudi king discuss dispute with Qatar
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Last year, the consulate issued more than 16,000 visas to United States citizens.

While senior lawmakers in the Kremlin-controlled Russian parliament advocated a strong reciprocal action, Lavrov signaled caution, saying Russia must weigh its response to avoid hurting itself.

July 30: Putin orders the US diplomatic missions in Russian Federation to reduce their staff by 755 people in retaliation to the sanctions.

But instead of lashing out at Russia's aggressive diplomatic move, Trump actually praised Putin for kicking out U.S. diplomats, claiming Putin was actually doing the United States a favor.

The White House delegated the response to Tillerson, and the explanation of the move was left to a midlevel State Department official.

Mr Lavrov said Moscow still hoped for better relations and blamed Trump's political foes for the deteriorating situation.

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during the G20 summit in Hamburg Germany, in July 2017. "I want to thank" Putin, Trump said, "because we're trying to cut down our payroll".

The U.S. has complied with the order, which meant cutting 755 of its staff, a lot of them local hires.

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