Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow still has to study the United States' decision to shut its consulate in San Francisco before considering any possible retaliation. After months of asking the Trump administration to return the compounds, the Kremlin fired back and ordered the U.S.to cut its embassy staff in Russian Federation by 755 employees.
In a statement, Nauert said the State Department had complied with Russia's demand to reduce the size of USA diplomatic mission in Russia and now made its own demand "in the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians".
But instead of lashing out at Russia's aggressive diplomatic move, Trump actually praised Putin for kicking out USA diplomats, claiming Putin was actually doing the U.S. a favor.
The action follows Russia's demand earlier this month that the USA reduce the number of personnel at its diplomatic missions in the country.
An administration official told reporters in a background briefing that "for a variety of reasons" the consulate in San Francisco had been selected for closure.
The statement explained that with this action, both countries will remain with three consulates each.
"We're responding in this instance to the Russian desire for parity in the diplomatic relationship", the official told reporters on background.
Obama took the decision on the eve of the end of his tenure in January in retaliation against Russia's alleged meddling in the November 8, 2016 USA presidential election. The State Department will continue to allow Russia to operate more diplomatic and consular annexes in the USA than the US does in Russia, Nauert said, "in an effort to arrest the downward spiral in our relationship". They are in New York, Seattle and Houston. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that Moscow needs to analyze the latest US move before responding. "These closures will need to be accomplished by September 2". Washington gave Moscow 48 hours to comply. The move comes in retaliation for the Russian government directing the U.S.to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by two-thirds earlier this month. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision.