Re: “U.S. says it is shuttering last 2 consulates in Russia” [Dec. 18, Nation & World Politics]:
Pacific Northwest residents will be among the losers in the Trump administration’s latest misguided foreign policy move, the permanent closure of the U.S. consulate in Vladivostok, Russia. The consulate advocates for commercial and cultural ties in Northwest states, including my home state of Alaska, and their counterparts in the massive Russian Far East.
The State Department recently quietly told Congress it will shut the consulate in Russia’s Pacific seaport city and suspend operations at the U.S. consulate in Yekaterinburg. The only American presence in Russia will be in Moscow.
As President Donald Trump sucks up to Vladimir Putin, U.S.-Russia relations have deteriorated to their worst in half a century. Without consequence, Russia mucked in America’s 2016 elections, and now Trump is trying to blame an unprecedented Russian cyberattack on U.S. federal agencies on China.
In 2018, under pressure from our European allies following Russia’s poisoning of a former spy in London, the U.S. ordered the Russian consulate in Seattle closed.
The beauty of these regional satellites is their ability to facilitate citizen-to-citizen contact even when their national governments are at odds. The consulate’s closing means such efforts to advance mutual understanding will be all but impossible.
David Ramseur, Anchorage