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US consulate staff in St. Petersburg prepare to leave

US consulate staff in St. Petersburg prepare to leave
The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — U.S. consulate staff in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, are preparing to wind up operations after the Russian government ordered the consulate’s closure.

Russia on Thursday announced the expulsion of more than 150 diplomats, including 60 Americans, in response to mass expulsions of Russian diplomats by Western countries over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.

Russia also ordered the closure of the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.

An Associated Press reporter on Friday saw consulate staff carrying boxes from the building and loading them into a van. Several mini-vans drove out of the consulate while security also detained a man who threw a paper coffee cup at the building.

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