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After U.S. Orders Consulate Closure, Lavrov Warns It 'Takes Two to Tango'

Kremlin Press Service

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov invoked a dancing metaphor on Friday to describe Russia’s view on its bilateral relations with the U.S.

Addressing first-year students at the MGIMO university, where many of Russia's diplomats and intelligence officers are trained, Lavrov said Moscow wanted to mend ties with Washington.

“We sincerely want the political atmosphere to normalize,” he said in a speech broadcast live on YouTube. "But, as you know, it takes two to tango and so far we’ve been seeing our U.S. partners perform an individual break dance time and time again.”

Lavrov made his comments a day after the U.S. State Department issued a Sept. 2 deadline for the Russian Consulate in San Francisco to close its doors. Activities at consular annexes in Washington D.C. and New York would also have to be scaled down, the announcement said.

On Friday, the consulate in San Francisco said it would stop operations a day early.

A Foreign Ministry statement published on Thursday said Russia would first “review” the U.S. move before announcing its own response.

Speaking to MGIMO students, Lavrov said Russia would “of course be tough in its response” to what he called "harmful actions dictated only by the desire to spoil our relations with the United States."

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