Moscow took that step, with which Washington must comply starting on September 1, to equalize the number of diplomats the United States and Russia maintain in each other's countries after a USA reduction in Russian personnel late past year.
The United States on Thursday ordered Russian Federation to close the facilities by September 2 in retaliation for Moscow cutting the USA diplomatic presence in Russian Federation.
"We will have a tough response to the things that come totally out of the blue to hurt us and are driven exclusively by the desire to spoil our relations with the United States", he said in a televised meeting with students at Russia's top diplomacy school.
A year ago tensions ramped up again after the United States intelligence community accused Putin of masterminding a hacking and influence campaign to tip the presidential vote in favour of Trump. The Russian declaration had been a retaliation, in its own right, for the "insolence" demonstrated by new sanctions overwhelmingly passed by USA lawmakers.
There was no immediate reaction from the Russian government.More news: Texas Mother Died Saving Daughter 'Clinging' to Her in Harvey Flood
Russia Today reported that Lavrov responded to the closures by "expressing regret" over the escalation of tensions.
In a case of inconvenient timing, Russia's new ambassador to the United States arrived in Washington on Thursday to take up his post. The two annexes housed Russian trade missions.
The United States on Thursday ordered Russian Federation to close its consulate in San Francisco as well as two annexes in Washington and NY, in a tit-for-tat response to Moscow's forced reduction of USA diplomatic staff in their country.
Putin did not retaliate, apparently deciding to wait and see if relations between Moscow and Washington improved under Trump, who has nearly never had an unkind public word for the authoritarian Russian.
"Now we need to sort this out calmly, very calmly and act in a professional manner", he told reporters upon arriving, according to the state-run Russian news agency Tass.More news: Farrah Abraham's Daughter Needs To Focus On Modeling, So Now She's Homeschooled
Outside the consulate building high atop a hill overlooking the San Francisco Bay, there were no visible signs of an exodus Thursday.
Daniel, a dual Russian citizen who was visiting the consulate Thursday, told NBC Bay Area he was blindsighted.
The US gave Russia mere 48 hours to close its San Francisco Consulate along with smaller Russian posts in Washington and NY.
At that time, the Consul General called Obama's accusations against their staff "bizarre and ridiculous".
"With this action both countries will remain with three consulates each".More news: Terry Pratchett's unpublished works destroyed by steamroller, as per his wishes
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