Smoke seen billowing from Russian Federation consulate Trump ordered closed

Putin said Tuesday that parity in the number of diplomats allowed in each country is in dispute, noting that 155 of 455 Russian diplomats working in the US were assigned to duties at the United Nations.

In biting and sometimes caustic remarks, Russian President Vladimir Putin waded into Russia's diplomatic row with the United States on Tuesday, saying Moscow could further cut US diplomatic staffing in Russia and calling USA searches of a Russian consulate and other diplomatic properties "boorish".

"But we won't do that for now", he said.

The Associated Press reported that local firefighters were turned away by consulate officials when they arrived in response to the smoke. "I very much hope that, as President Trump himself once said, our countries can find some compromises in regards to global and bilateral problems, in a way that suits both America and the USA and other countries, bearing in mind our unique responsibility to worldwide security".

Speaking at a news conference during a summit in China on Tuesday, Putin called the order to close three Russian facilities in the US - the San Francisco consulate and trade missions in NY and Washington - a "gross violation of property rights of the Russian Federation".

Feature image courtesy of AP. The U.S. move against the consulate came after Russian Federation directed Washington to cut staff at its diplomatic missions in Russian Federation by 755, or almost two-thirds, by September 1, following congressional approval of tougher sanctions against Moscow. "We will see how things proceed first".

Questioned about whether he was disappointed in Trump, Putin said it's "very naive" to ask.

Russia's Foreign Ministry issued the "suggestion" to bring the number of US diplomatic staff to the same level as Russian diplomats in the USA, after Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill tightening sanctions on Russia over allegations of election interference. "Therefore, for a start, I will order the Foreign Ministry to go to court - and let's see just how efficient the much-praised US judiciary is".

"Strictly speaking, if we want it to be parity-based, it's not 455 (number now in each country)".

"The fact that America has reduced our number of our diplomatic institutions is their right". This does not do reflect well on our American partners. "Let's see how effective the USA courts are". By "all options", Trump clearly means the use of force.

Putin said suggestions from US officials that the Trump administration may be ready to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine in its war with Russian-backed rebels won't help resolve the conflict.



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