The U.S. State Department on Thursday ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and scale back activities in annexes in Washington D.C. and New York by Saturday, Sept. 2.
Here are the reactions from Moscow so far:
— Russia’s Foreign Ministry
“The minister expressed regrets over the escalation of tensions in bilateral relations, which were not initiated by us,” it said in a statement describing a phone conversation between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “Moscow will closely study the new measures announced by the U.S., after which we will announce our reaction.”
— Leonid Slutsky, head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee
“This is a hugely unfair step,” he told the Interfax news agency. “It means the U.S. is declaring a hot phase in the diplomatic war. The closing of institutions is a lot more serious than the ousting of diplomats or the illegal curbing of diplomatic powers.”
“But here we need to decide, do we need symmetrical measures and will we give in to U.S. provocations in the future, which in effect move us towards the rupturing of diplomatic relations? I’m convinced we should not allow a slowing of diplomatic dialogue, especially in the context of the appointment of a new Russian Ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov. We will decide and think.”