Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Russian Federation may demand U.S. to reduce diplomats to 300 or fewer

Russian Federation may demand U.S. to reduce diplomats to 300 or fewer

"We demand the American authorities return our state symbols", the post said alongside pictures of a bare flagpole on top of the consulate building. Tillerson is hosting Lavrov to discuss Syria, Ukraine and other bilaterial issues, according to the State Department.

The chair of the State Duma Committee for International Relations says Russia could take additional reciprocal measures "at a legislative level" in reply to fresh sanctions and unlawful treatment of Russian diplomatic property in the US.

In a telephone call, Lavrov told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the move went against efforts to fix ties between the two countries, which have become increasingly strained.

The statement came following warnings by Russian officials of their intention to respond to the September shutdown of Russian diplomatic missions across the USA, including its consulate in the west coast city of San Francisco.

"The flags of the former Russian consular properties in San Francisco were respectfully lowered".

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Russian news agencies cited the Russian embassy as saying it had lodged a formal protest over the incident.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, asked about the accusations later, told reporters that U.S. actions at the shuttered Russian facilities were "perfectly legal" and were carried out with "a lot of thought" and in a "judicious fashion".

In an interview on state television, Russia's new Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov called the taking down of the flags "upsetting". Russian Federation called these actions unfriendly and pledged to sue the proper United States authorities over the situation.

Washington ordered the shutdown of the Russian diplomatic missions after the Kremlin demanded that the U.S. slash staff numbers at its missions in Russia.

The dispute is the latest twist in tortured ties between the USA and Russian Federation, which have slumped to their lowest point since the Cold War following the Kremlin's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The demand followed a vote to tighten sanctions on Russian Federation.

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