Following the Trump administration's closure of Russia's consulates in the US, in retaliation for Russia's expulsion and firing of 700 USA consular employees there, Moscow had a curious response to the matter: it pinned the blame on President Obama.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Thursday released the following statement regarding steps taken by the Trump administration to regain parity in the diplomatic relationship by forcing the Russian government to close its consulate in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, D.C., and a consular annex in New York City.
July 28: In retaliation to the Russian Federation sanctions bill, the Kremlin says it plans to seize two US properties and orders a significant reduction of the USA diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.
Just days before the New Year celebrations, then-US President Barack Obama declared 35 Russian diplomats in the US "persona non grata" and gave them 72 hours to leave the country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that his country would react with firmness to the US order.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed yesterday he had received an e-mail in January a year ago from an adviser to Mr Donald Trump about a Moscow real estate project, but said he had neither replied nor discussed it with Mr Putin. Probably that they will try to support Trump's ability to maneuver, while continuing business as usual with the Deep State, which is to say Cold War spy games.
The U.S. Congress in July overwhelmingly endorsed a new set of sanctions against Moscow over the alleged election interference and for Russia's actions in Syria and Ukraine.
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"And if there was any kind of financial transactions, either elicit or legal, that nonetheless Russians could hold over the president's head because he's denied having any financial interests in Russia or with the Russians, that could be leverage on the president's future actions", he added.
ALEXANDER: That decision from Vladimir Putin last month responding to new US sanctions for Moscow's interfering in the election by expelling 755 American diplomats.
Russia is promising to answer a Trump administration order to close three Russian diplomatic offices in the United States.
Donald Trump won the presidential election in November and is now under investigation about possible collusion between his campaign and the Russian government. The State Department said the facilities, which are smaller than the main Russian Embassy in Washington, must shut down on September 2.
The U.S. announcement was the latest development in a diplomatic "tit-for-tat" between the two sides.
While many of 755 U.S. staffers had to expelled and return to the State Department, Washington is not asking to expel Russian staffers at the consulate and the annexes that were closed.