01 September, 2017
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin did not respond initially to that move, with Donald Trump set to assume office, he then announced on 31 July that 755 U.S. diplomatic staff must leave the country in retaliation for the United States sanctions.
The release went on to say that "in the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians", the State Department is mandating that Russia close those three diplomatic locations by September 2.
Nauert warned that the USA could have gone further, in pursuit of "parity" in diplomatic staffing levels, but chose not to in order to avoid a "downward spiral" in the relationship.
Citgo has a large presence in the United States and represents roughly five percent of USA crude-oil refining capacity, according to the Wall Street Journal. It wasn't immediately clear whether the Kremlin would return the volley by retaliating for the USA retaliation.
"Moscow will examine the new measures announced by the Americans in detail after which our reaction will be announced", Lavrov's ministry said.
The administration said there was no decision on whether the Russian government would be allowed to take back those facilities. The order affects Russia's "chancery annex" in Washington and a "consular annex" in NY. The official briefed reporters on a conference call on condition of anonymity. "We have informed the Russians that they may be reassigned to other diplomatic posts".
In late 2016, former President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, and the seizure of two Russian government compounds in response to alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
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Putin's move was a delayed reaction to President Barack Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and his seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds previous year.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also held a phone conversation with his U.S. counterpart, Rex Tillerson, and expressed his regret about Washington's move.
Lavrov told Tillerson that Russian Federation urges all parties to avoid a military solution to the crisis and added that Moscow views any new potential sanctions against North Korea as "counterproductive and unsafe".
Ahead of the order, Russian officials had warned that further USA steps could be met with retaliation.
Russia's expulsion of USA diplomats in July was in response to an Obama administration closure of Russian diplomatic facilities in the US last December.
"It is our hope that the Russians will recognize that since they were the ones who started the discussion on parity", the administration official said, that "we're responding and complying with what they required of us". Trump criticised the decision from the lawmakers, but signed the bill into law. Nevertheless, the United States argued that the score has been evened.
On Thursday, the United States demanded from the Russian government to close three diplomatic offices in the USA substantiating this by an alleged bid to restore diplomatic parity.
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