US closes Russian Consulate General in San Francisco
Starting September 1, 2017 the US closes the Consulate General of Russian Federation in San Francisco. According to preliminary data, the United States demanded that Russia shut down its chancery annex in Washington, DC, and a consular annex in New York City by September 2.
According to the Russian Consul General in San Francisco Sergey Petrov, the US decision to close the diplomatic mission is deeply regrettable. It is likely that this decision will negatively affect the interests of American citizens who often apply for Russian visas to the Consulate.
During a telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov expressed regret over the increased tension in bilateral relations.
According to the US Secretary of State, additional restrictions on Russian diplomatic missions’ activities in the US will be announced in the near future.
It’s worth mentioning that since August 23 the US stopped issuing nonimmigrant visas throughout Russia. Since September 1, this procedure will resume but only at the US Embassy in Moscow. As a response to a new set of sanctions against Russia, Moscow has reduced the size of staff at the US Embassies in Russia.