The decision of the State Department to close the last two US consulates in Russia is related to the optimization of the work of the American diplomatic mission. This was reported to the TASS agency by a representative of the American Foreign Ministry.
He clarified that the decision was made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after consultations with US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan “as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the US diplomatic mission in the Russian Federation.”
The State Department stressed that no action is planned against the Russian geconsulates in the United States.
The US decision to close its consulates in Russia became known earlier on December 19. Then, in the notice to Congress, a copy of which was also referred to by the media, it was said that this step was the result of restrictions imposed in 2017 by the Russian authorities on the number of American diplomats who are allowed to work in the country.
The consulate in Vladivostok was temporarily closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Yekaterinburg, it continued to work, but on a limited basis. If closed, the only US diplomatic center in Russia will be the embassy in Moscow.