Moscow, December 19 – Russian sources said on the 19th that the move was a political decision to close the Consulate General in Vladivostok, Russia, and suspend the work and business of the Consulate General in Yekaterinburg.
The U.S. media previously reported that the U.S. State Department will close the Consulate General in Vladivostok, Russia, and suspend the work of the Consulate General in Yekaterinburg. CNN quoted a spokesman for the U.S. State Department as saying that the plan is to meet the challenge of Russia’s restrictions on U.S. diplomatic personnel after 2017 and the shortage of personnel caused by the deadlock on diplomatic visa issues between the two sides.
The U.S. Embassy in Russia said that the decision was in optimizing the work of the U.S. Embassy in Russia. It is estimated that closing the U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok will save $3.2 million a year.
According to Russian media such as TASS News Agency and Russian News Agency, Pashkov, a member of the Russian Federation Council (Upper House of Parliament), said through social networking websites on the 19th that the United States does have economic problems, but it is not enough to close the Consulate General. This move is a political decision. The move of the United States shows signs of a decline in bilateral relations.
Slutsky, chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma (Lower House of Parliament), said on the same day that people saw not only the closure of the United States Consulate General in Russia, but also the United States State Department of Russia on the list of enemies.
Su Piyan, head of academic direction at the American Canadian Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the move by the United States shows that the United States does not intend to engage in close diplomatic dialogue with Russia.
Russian President Press Secretary Peskov has previously said that the functions of the consulate are consular and visa services, and these functions of the U.S. Consulate General in Russia have not been performed for a long time, so the closure of the Consulate General of the United States will not affect Russian-US relations.
Due to the impact of the coronavirus epidemic, the work of the U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok has been suspended before, and the work of the Consulate General in Yekaterinburg has been reduced since March.