Russia is sharply reacting to the directive to close one consulate and two diplomatic annexes in the US. “It has hurt us and stems solely from the desire to undermine our relations with the US,” Lavrov stated today. “We will harshly respond to these things.”
Putin and Trump Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Russia promised a “harsh response” to the US’s order to shut down its diplomatic missions in San Francisco, Washington, and New York, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today (Friday). “We will harshly respond to these things that have landed on us out of nowhere,” Lavrov stated during an address to students at Russia’s top school for diplomacy broadcasted live on television. “It has hurt us and stems solely from the desire to undermine our relations with the US.”
However, despite the harsh criticism, Lavrov defended US President Donald Trump. He explained that the new sanctions imposed on his country by the US Congress not only hurt Russia, but are aimed at “tying Trump’s hands and not allowing him to utilize his constitutional powers in order to create foreign policy.”
As reported earlier by JOL, the US directive to close one Russian consulate and two diplomatic annexes was ordered in response to Russia’s expulsion of 755 US diplomats from Moscow. It is still unclear how many Russian employees will be affected. Each country will now host three consulates of the other. The instruction was given by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov over the phone, who expressed regret over the ‘escalation of tensions’. The two are expected to meet at the UN General Assembly in New York next month.