REPORT: Smoke Pouring From Chimney at Russian Consulate in San Francisco After Closure Order (PHOTO)

Well, this is odd. You don’t suppose the Russians are electing a new Pope, do you? The Associated Press is reporting smoke was seen pouring from the chimney at Russia’s consulate in San Francisco. Nothing else is known at this time.

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Thursday, the Trump administration ordered the Russian consulate to shut down.

SF Gate reported:

Escalating a diplomatic tit-for-tat, the United States abruptly ordered Russia on Thursday to shutter its San Francisco consulate and close offices in Washington and New York, intensifying tensions between the former Cold War foes. Washington gave Moscow 48 hours to comply.

The Trump administration described its action as retaliation for the Kremlin’s “unwarranted and detrimental” demand earlier this month that the U.S. cut its diplomatic staff in Russia. But Moscow declared it a major escalation, with a top Russian lawmaker saying the move heralded “the hot phase of diplomatic war.”

“The United States is prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. Still, she said the U.S. hoped both countries could now move toward “improved relations” and “increased cooperation.”

It was a harsh welcome to Washington for new Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, who arrived only hours after the U.S. announcement. At the airport, Antonov cited a maxim of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin as he urged caution and professionalism.

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