Wed. Jul 10th, 2024

Consequences when Russia and the US closed their consulates in 2018

Consequences when Russia and the US closed their consulates in 2018 2
Consequences when Russia and the US closed their consulates in 2018 2

On July 21, the US asked the Chinese Consulate General in Houston to close within 72 hours to `protect intellectual property and personal information of Americans`.

Chinese Consul General in Houston Thai Wei on July 23, in an interview with Politico newspaper, announced his refusal to comply with the request from the US, saying Beijing had asked Washington to cancel this decision.

Russian consulate gate in Seattle, USA, at the end of April 2018.

On July 24, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying it had revoked the license to establish and operate the US consulate in Chengdu city.

The latest tension in US-China relations is reminiscent of the incident in 2018, when the US and Russia also responded to each other by closing their consulates, related to the case of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal.

To punish Russia, at the end of March 2018, the US government announced the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle.

In response, Russia announced the expulsion of 150 Western diplomats, including 60 US diplomatic staff, and closed the US Consulate General in St.

In early September 2017, the US also asked Russia to close the Consulate General in San Francisco, the consulate building in Washington and the consulate building in New York.

`It shows the erosion in the bilateral relationship,` Sergey Gladysh, executive director of the nonprofit US-Russia Cooperation Initiative, based in Seattle, commented on the move to close the consulate.

However, the consulate’s closure first of all severely affects the people.

But besides the difficulties related to travel, what bothers Seattle’s Russian community more is the sense of loss over the disappearance of a diplomatic facility that has existed for more than two decades.

Although the nearest Russian consulate is in Houston, all records and documents in states that were once managed by the consulate in Seattle, including states with relatively large Russian communities such as Alaska and California, were transferred.

Mikhail Savvateev, vice president of the Russia-US Cooperation Initiative, realized in April 2018 that his Russian passport was about to expire.

`It makes things complicated,` Savvateev said.

For many Russians in America, the Samuel Hyde Building, a former residence for Russian diplomats in Seattle, is a community center.

Elderly Russians who don’t know how to use a computer or smartphone turn to the consulate for more information, and when it disappears, keeping up to date with new events or changes seems to them a must.

The consulate’s closure means they also lose their `emotional care,` Mushkatina added.

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