Russia To Close American Consulate For 'Diplomatic Parity'

A new round of Syria talks will get under way later this week in Astana

His Majesty King Abdullah II on Monday received Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and discussed with him the strategic ties between Jordan and the Russian Federation and the latest developments in the Middle East region.

That "full parity" means completely equalizing the number of Americans in Russian Federation and vice-versa.

Nevertheless, doing so we showed our good will.

"We are now studying the conditions in which American foreign missions in Russia and Russian foreign missions in the United States are operating and we will make these conditions totally equal". "If they have taken parity as a criterion, we are now considering the conditions in which USA foreign institutions operate in Russia and Russian ones operate in the US".

"We don't want to continue this kind of diplomatic tit-for-tat", she said.

But among those 455 diplomatic staff working in the United States there are 155 people working at the United Nations.

Moscow is threatening to order an additional 155 American diplomatic personnel removed from missions in Russian Federation in a further escalation of the cycle of retaliation between the two world powers.

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This may signal a calming of tensions between the two countries.

He reiterated that when Russia asked the USA to equal its diplomatic staff in Russia with the number of Russian diplomatic staff in the U.S. it showed goodwill and "included in this mainstream all those working in the Russian permanent delegation to the United Nations". Then-President Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian intelligence officers and seized two Russian diplomatic compounds in the U.S.in retaliation for Kremlin meddling in the 2016 USA presidential elections.

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All U.S. diplomatic staff are allowed to travel freely within Russian Federation, a privilege Lavrov said was now under consideration.

Such restrictions would also be a move toward parity, Lavrov argued: Low- and mid-level Russian diplomats working in the US have only a radius of 25 miles of free movement outside their diplomatic compounds.

The Russian diplomat defended his country's military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying Russia - along with Iran and the Iran-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah - are there "based on a direct invitation from the legitimate Syrian authorities". That staff reduction saw approximately 755 employees cut from the US mission's ranks, about 600 of them local hires in Russian Federation.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters last week that Trump had personally approved the decision to take reprisals against Russian Federation.

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