• Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Closing the remaining US consulates in Russia is shortsighted

    Lost in the swirl of American post-election chaos, culminating in the appalling storming of the U.S. Capitol, and the reported major Russian cyber hacks was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s notification to Congress on Dec. 10 about the State Department’s decision to close its remaining two consulates in Russia. The U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East (RFE) distantly located from Moscow, would be fully shuttered, while the other in centrally located Ekaterinburg, suspended. The cited staffing issues relate to the 2017 tit-for-tat downsizing of diplomatic personnel and missions in the U.S. and Russia, as well as related cost challenges. To be clear: This is a unilateral U.S. decision. It must be emphasized…