US staff at St. Petersburg consulate prepare to depart facility – VIDEO

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Staff at the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg began the process of winding down their operations on Friday, the day after Russia ordered the closure of the facility in response to Washington’s decision to shutter the Russian Consulate General in Seattle and expel 60 Russian diplomats.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the announcement on Thursday in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the US, Canada and a number of European Union member states over the Skripal case.

Russia has denied allegations of any involvement in the affair, and has requested evidence from the British government to support London’s allegations that Moscow was “highly likely” behind the alleged poisoning.

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According to Russia’s chief diplomat, the heads of diplomatic missions of a number of countries that have expelled Russian diplomats will be summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Friday.

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