MOSCOW, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Russia should work toward attaining symmetry in the exchange of "diplomatic niceties" with the United States following Washington's decision to close the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, a senior Russian official said Friday.
"What's to be done? In case of an exchange of diplomatic niceties it's important to work toward full symmetry. And if the staff of our Consulate General in San Francisco has to return home, the Americans should be told to send off an equal number of diplomats," Konstantin Kosachov, the chairman of the foreign policy committee in the upper house of Russian parliament was quoted by Russia's TASS news agency as saying.
Symmetric steps can be taken regarding the U.S. diplomatic missions in Russia and the issuance of Russian visas to Americans, he said.
Earlier, Anatoly Antonov, the new Russian Ambassador to the United States, said Russian diplomats will clear up the situation surrounding Washington's new decision on Russian diplomatic legations cool-headedly and without hysterical fits.
On Thursday, the United States ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco, in clear retaliation against Moscow's demand that the size of U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia be reduced.
Washington has also ordered Russia to shut a chancery annex in Washington D.C. and a consular annex in New York by Saturday, adding that the move is "in the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians."
The tit-for-tat action came after Russian President Vladimir Putin in July asked the United States to reduce the number of diplomatic personnel in Russia by 755, in response to U.S. sanctions on Russia over its alleged intervention in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.