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U.S. says Russian relationship in 'downward spiral'

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The United States retaliated against Russian Federation for its ouster of U.S. Embassy personnel in July by ordering it on Thursday to close its consulate in San Francisco and two other offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

"The United States is prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

The tit-for-tat action came after Russian President Vladimir Putin in July ordered the United States to reduce the number of diplomatic personnel in Russia by 755, in response to us sanctions on Russia over its alleged intervention in the 2016 USA presidential election. She said no Russian diplomats are being expelled - the diplomats in those three building may be reassigned to other Russian consulates in the U.S.

But she added a conciliatory note.

The move comes a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 755 American diplomatic staff to leave Russia.

But instead of lashing out at Russia's aggressive diplomatic move, Trump actually praised Putin for kicking out USA diplomats, claiming Putin was actually doing the U.S. a favor.

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In late 2016, former President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, and the seizure of two Russian government compounds in response to alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

In a statement issued, the ministry explained that the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The two are expected to meet at the UN General Assembly in NY next month.

While the USA has ordered the closure of diplomatic facilities, the State Department is not seeking to expel any Russian diplomats at this time, according to the official.

At that time, Russia resisted any retaliatory measures as President Putin made a decision to provide the new administration with some breathing space and to understand how the new administration under Donald Trump would pursue relations, especially since he expressed a desire to improve US- Russia relation. But pressure from Congress, particularly from Democrats, to respond to intelligence agencies' findings of Russian election meddling, have hampered those efforts.

Consulate officials, in response, described the move as an "unfriendly" step on the part of American authorities and warned that it will hurt both Russian citizens living in the area and Americans seeking tourist visas to Russia.

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