Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for August 31, 2017

Newsline: US Orders Closing of Three Russian Diplomatic Buildings

The Trump administration directed Russia to close three buildings in the U.S. but declined to expel any diplomats in retaliation for Russia’s decision in July ordering Washington to cut staff at its embassy and consulates. “We are requiring the Russian Government to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, DC and a consular annex in New York City,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Thursday. “These closures will need to be accomplished by September 2.” In a bid to soften the consequences of the decision, a U.S. official who asked not to be identified said that no Russian officials will be expelled. Instead, Moscow can reassign them to other consulates in the U.S. or the embassy in Washington. The U.S. move comes after Russia directed Washington to cut staff at its diplomatic missions in Russia by 755, or nearly two-thirds, following congressional approval of tougher sanctions against Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the time that he hoped there wouldn’t be need for further retaliation but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later vowed to respond by Sept. 1.



Newsline: New ‘Hardliner’ Russian Ambassador to US Extends Olive Branch

In the first interview since his appointment, Russia’s new Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov appeared to strike a conciliatory tone. Antonov, known as a “hardliner” in his previous capacity as deputy foreign and defense minister, is due to replace Sergei Kislyak on Sept. 1. “I will try to convey to the Americans that we are not enemies but should be partners in the interests of Russia and the U.S.,” Antonov told the Kommersant business daily. He added that the Russian Embassy in Washington will continue to operate as normal, despite an announcement from its U.S. counterpart last week that it would restrict the issuing of non-immigrant visas to Russian citizens.


Newsline: Britain’s foreign secretary opens UK’s new Embassy in Abuja

The United Kingdom in order to further strengthen its relationship with Nigeria on Thursday, August 31, opened its new Embassy in Abuja. British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson who unveiled the new diplomatic complex said it signified the growing relationship between the Commonwealth pair. The new embassy, located at Plot 1157, Diplomatic Drive, Central Business District, houses all of the UK Government departments working in Abuja.