US planning to close last consulates in Russia


Putin and Trump
United States President, Donald Trump (L) and Russian President, Vladimir Putin (R)

Donald Trump’s outgoing administration is planning to close the two remaining US consulates in Russia, the State Department confirmed Saturday, as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office amid high tensions with Moscow.

The US will close its consulate in the far eastern city of Vladivostok and suspend operations at its post in Yekaterinburg, a department spokesperson told AFP.

The decision followed consultation with Ambassador John Sullivan and was part of “efforts to ensure the safe and secure operation of the U.S. diplomatic mission in the Russian Federation,” the spokesperson said.

CNN reported that a State Department letter to Congress this month said the move was a response to “ongoing staffing challenges for the US Mission in Russia in the wake of the 2017 Russian-imposed personnel cap on the US Mission.”

Ten diplomats assigned to the consulates will reportedly be…

Source: Vanguard Newspaper