Russia studying US consulate decision

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow has yet to study the United States’ decision to shut its consulate in San Francisco before considering possible retaliation.

The U.S. on Thursday abruptly ordered Russia to shutter its San Francisco consulate and close offices in Washington and New York within the next 48 hours, intensifying tensions between the former Cold War foes. The Trump administration described its action as retaliation for the Kremlin’s “unwarranted and detrimental” demand earlier this month that the U.S. cut its diplomatic staff in Russia.

Speaking at Russia’s top diplomacy school early today, Lavrov said Moscow would react to the decision once it has finished analyzing it. Lavrov defended Russia’s decision to cut U.S. diplomatic staff as reciprocal reaction to the U.S. expelling Russian diplomats last December.