United States to Close Last 2 Consulates in Russia

The Trump administration has notified Congress that it intends to close the last two remaining U.S. consulates in Russia.

The State Department told lawmakers last week that it would permanently close the consulate in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok and temporarily stop operations at the consulate in Yekaterinburg just east of the Ural Mountains.

The closures are due to caps placed by Russian authorities in 2017 on the number of U.S. diplomats allowed to work in the country.

The moves are “in response to ongoing staffing challenges of the U.S. Mission in Russia in the wake of the 2017 Russian-imposed personnel cap on the US Mission and resultant impasse with Russia over diplomatic visas.”

The only diplomatic facility the U.S. will have in Russia will be the embassy in Moscow.

The consulate in Vladivostok had been temporarily closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The exact timing of the closures has yet to be determined. The American staff are to be relocated to the embassy in Moscow, while the locals will be laid off, according to the notice.

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