U.S. President Donald Trump personally ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, his spokeswoman said at a briefing on Thursday.
“This was a decision made by the president,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.
The move announced on Thursday comes after Russia’s Foreign Ministry told the U.S. diplomatic mission to Russia to reduce its staff by hundreds of people by Sept. 1.
An unidentified White House official was cited by Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying that Trump had been “presented with options by his national security team,” on how to respond.
“The president has no plans to discuss the decision,” the source said, adding: “He made the decision himself."
Invoking the “spirit of parity” cited by Russia when it instructed the U.S. diplomatic staff cuts, the U.S. State Department ordered Russia on Thursday to close its San Francisco consulate and scale back activities in Washington D.C. and New York annexes by Sept. 2.
“With this action both countries will remain with three consulates each,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement announcing the order.
Russia will closely study the new U.S. measures before announcing its response, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday, according to a statement on the ministry's website.