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Russia Threatens A Harsh Reaction To U.S. Over Closing Of San Francisco Consulate
Following the State Department’s demand that Russia close its San Francisco consulate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that his country will respond harshly to the new measure.
As Reuters reports, Lavrov told a group of Russian students that a response from the Kremlin would come after an analysis of the situation was completed. “But I want to say that this whole story with (the two countries) exchanging tit-for-tat sanctions was not started by us,” said Lavrov. “It was started by the Obama administration to undermine US-Russia relations and to not allow (President Donald) Trump to advance constructive ideas or fulfil his pre-election pledges.”
Lavrov complained that United States had given Moscow only 48 hours to comply with its newest sanction.
“We will respond harshly to things that damage us,” vowed Lavrov.
The State Department said it ordered Russia to close its San Francisco consulate, as well as two other diplomatic sites, in the “spirit of parity.”
In July, Moscow demanded that the U.S. cut 755 of its own staff in Russia. This was a belated response Obama’s late 2016 decision to expel 35 diplomats and seize two diplomatic compounds.
Sergei Kislyak, a former ambassador to Russia who stirred up much controversy when news of his meeting with several Trump associates prior to the Trump’s inauguration came to light, has described the strained relations between the U.S. and Russia as a hangover from the cold war era.
“When it comes to Russia, the fears and prejudices of the Cold War era that seemed to have long-ago turned into fossils have gotten a new lease on life, and this is seriously blurring reality,” Kislyak said, according to the Russian news agency Tass.
Regarding the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Kislyak said, “I think history will dispel these untruths in due time and America will begin to turn towards greater normalcy in relations with Russia, especially because it would serve their (the Americans’) interests.”