On Thursday, The Trump administration ordered that Russia lose its consulate in San Francisco and two diplomatic annexes, in New York and Washington. The order came in retaliation to Russia’s order for the United States to reduce its embassy staff in Moscow by 755 people.
The administration said that the move was purely “reciprocal” and that it was not made to further tensions between The United States and Russia.
Russian foreign ministry, Mr. Lavrov said in a statement, “expressed regret at the escalation of tension in bilateral relations.”
Lavrov also said the Russian government “would study the move before deciding how to respond.”
Mr. Lavrov is expected to meet with Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson during the United Nations General Assembly next month.
The number of employees that would be affected was not released, although The State Department said that the move would leave 3 consulates in each others’ country.
The statement said, “While there will continue to be a disparity in the number of diplomatic and consular annexes. We have chosen to allow the Russian government to maintain some of its annexes in an effort to arrest the downward spiral in our relationship.”
The State Department seems rather weary and will take all considerations in because they are not trying to deepen the rift with Russia.
Michael A. McFaul, who served as ambassador to Moscow during the Obama administration said, ““It is an important and needed response, but it is not proportionate. The dismissal of 755 employees has a much greater impact on our diplomatic operations in Russia than this action has on Russian operations in the United States.”
President Trump expressed gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying, “I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down the payroll. And as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go a lot of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll.”
What are your thoughts? Did Trump make the right decisions in handling this situation?
Please feel free to leave a comment below!
Credit: The New York Times