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US to shutter last two consulates in Russia

Source : 112 Ukraine

After the closure, the only US diplomatic center in Russia will be the embassy in Moscow.
13:30, 19 December 2020

Open source

The Trump administration has notified Congress that it intends to shutter the last two remaining U.S. consulates in Russia. It was reported by Associated Press.

The State Department told lawmakers last week that it would permanently close the consulate in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok and temporarily suspend operations at the consulate in Yekaterinburg.

Related: Russia prepares to deploy nuclear weapons in occupied Crimea, - Ukraine’s Defense Minister

The notice was sent to Congress on December 10. It says the closures are due to caps placed by Russian authorities in 2017 on the number of U.S. diplomats allowed to work in the country.

The moves are “in response to ongoing staffing challenges of the U.S. Mission in Russia in the wake of the 2017 Russian-imposed personnel cap on the US Mission and resultant impasse with Russia over diplomatic visa.”

The consulates in Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg employ a total of 10 American diplomats and 33 local staff.

Related: U.S. Embassy in Berlin demands to impose moratorium on completion of Nord Stream 2

The exact timing of the closures has yet to be determined. The American staff are to be relocated to the embassy in Moscow, while the locals will be laid off, according to the notice. The department estimated the permanent closure of the Vladivostok consulate would save $3.2 million per year.

After the closure, the only US diplomatic center in Russia will be the embassy in Moscow.

The State Enterprise “National Nuclear Energy Generating Company “Energoatom” is filing a lawsuit against the Russian Federation for compensation for assets lost in Crimea.

Related: Sanctions against Turkey over Russian arms: Has the United States found a sweet spot?

 

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