The Trump administration has notified Congress that it intends to shutter the last two remaining U.S. consulates in Russia, the Associated Press reports.
The US will permanently close the consulate in Vladivostok and temporarily suspend operations at the consulate in Yekaterinburg, the State Department told Congress in a December 10 letter.
The State Department said it “intends to take these steps in response to ongoing staffing challenges for the U.S. Mission in Russia in the wake of the 2017 Russian-imposed personnel cap on the U.S. Mission and the resultant impasse with Russia over diplomatic visas.”
The consulate in Vladivostok was temporarily closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and staffers there had already begun removing sensitive equipment, documents and other items, according to AP.
The letter predates the news of the suspected Russian led widespread ongoing cyber attack on various departments in the federal government as well as a number of fortune 500 companies.
The consulates closure means the US Embassy in Moscow, is the only diplomatic facility that the US will have in Russia at a time of increase tension between the two nations.