US embassy employees are preparing to depart the American consulate in the Russian city of St. Petersburg amid an escalating crisis over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK.
A reporter from The Associated Press on Friday saw US consulate staff carrying boxes from the building and loading them into a vehicle.
Several mini-vans drove out of the consulate while security also detained a man who threw a coffee cup at the building, the AP reported.
Some passers-by near the US consulate cheered the expulsions. “Let them get out of here,” said 61-year-old retiree Viktor Fedin. “You won’t put Russia on its knees.”
“The Russian government has to respond to the hostile actions against Russia,” said 32-year-old researcher Yelena Bogomazova.
In response to Washington’s move earlier this week to close the Russian consulate in the US city of Seattle, Moscow also shut the US Consulate in St. Petersburg, giving it until Saturday to vacate the…