Russia To Close American Consulate For 'Diplomatic Parity'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left welcomes Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi during their meeting in Moscow Russia in January. Lavrov said Monday that Saudi Arabia assured him it backs a Moscow-led process of negotiating gradual loca

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left welcomes Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi during their meeting in Moscow Russia in January. Lavrov said Monday that Saudi Arabia assured him it backs a Moscow-led process of negotiating gradual loca

Moscow will bring the working conditions of the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States and U.S. missions in Russia to full parity, Lavrov said.

The minister further pointed out that the USA had initiated the parity criterion, saying that Washington had insisted that Russian Federation close one of its four consulates in the United States because the US only had three consulates in Russian Federation. "If they have taken parity as a criterion, we are now considering the conditions in which USA foreign institutions operate in Russia and Russian ones operate in the US". Currently, American diplomats may officially enter Russia at more entry points than Russians are allowed to enter the U.S. Russia might limit the number of American staffers allowed to travel outside the diplomatic missions' zones.

In the U.S., Washington demanded that Russian Federation close the San Francisco Consulate last Saturday.

That "full parity" means completely equalizing the number of Americans in Russian Federation and vice-versa. The reduction in staff has forced the USA mission to stop offering visa services to Russians except in the Moscow consular offices, as of September 1. There were some 1,300 diplomats from the U.S.; we had 455.

"But among those 455 diplomatic staff working in the United States there are 155 people working at the United Nations".

The lingering diplomatic row between Washington and Moscow began back in 2016, when the outgoing Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian diplomatic compounds in NY and Maryland.

"We discussed concrete measures relating to the current state of our military and technical collaboration which is a very important part of our cooperation", he said on Monday after talks with Safadi.

So true parity would be the U.S. not having 455 diplomats in Russian Federation, but 155 fewer.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin withheld from retaliating, and the incoming Trump administration and Trump in specific had vowed to ease relationship with Russia.

In its order, Russian Federation said that a total of 755 personnel would have to leave the country to reach the new limit. This brought the number to the same as Russian diplomatic staff in the USA, which is 455 people.

Last Saturday, Washington demanded that Russian Federation close the San Francisco Consulate. Moreover, FBI operatives conducted searches at Russias San Francisco Consulate.

"In this connection we also have consensus on a need to comply with Security Council demands for respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity of Syria and a possibility for the Syrian people to themselves shape the future of their country", the senior diplomat said.

“Representatives of the United States law enforcement agencies conduct unknown activities on the territory of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco.

But to the US, "Vienna" is just a Chobani type of yogurt.

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