The United States of America has given Russia a 48 hours ultimatum to close three of its missions in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and New York.
This was made known by the spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert, in a statement on Thursday that the move was to achieve parity in diplomatic missions.
Moscow had asked Washington to reduce its missions officials in Russia in retaliation for the seizure of property belonging to Russians and expulsion of dozens of Russian nationals by President Barack Obama.
Obama took the decision on the eve of the end of his tenure in January in retaliation against Russia’s alleged meddling in the Nov. 8, 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“The United States has fully implemented the decision by the Government of the Russian Federation to reduce the size of our mission in Russia.
“We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries.
“In the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians, we are requiring the Russian Government to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington D.C. and a consular annex in New York City.
“ These closures will need to be accomplished by Sept. 2. With this action, both countries will remain with three consulates each.
“While there will continue to be a disparity in the number of diplomatic and consular annexes, we have chosen to allow the Russian Government to maintain some of its annexes in an effort to arrest the downward spiral in our relationship,’’ the department said.
The U.S. said it hoped that having moved toward the Russian Federation’s desire for parity, it could avoid further retaliatory actions by both sides and move forward to achieve the stated goal of both of the two countries’ presidents.
The department noted that the goal of both President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin was improved relations between the two countries and increased cooperation on areas of mutual concern.
“The United States is prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted,” the department added.
It said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson phoned his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, “to inform him that we had met their required reduction in size by their deadlines.’’
“And he also informed him of our plans to close the facilities in question.
He added, “There was also a meeting between our acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs John Heffern, who conveyed the decisions and our response to the Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Dmitry Zhirnov.”
Source: ( PM News )
El-Rufai Imposes 24-hour Curfew On Seven Communities In Kaduna
Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has declared a 24-hour curfew in some communities in Kaduna South and Chikun Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan announced this is a statement on Saturday.
Although the reason for the restriction was not stated, it follows the looting of warehouses – where COVID-19 palliatives were reportedly stored by the government – by residents.
Residents were said to have trooped to Gwari Avenue where they discovered a warehouse and immediately forced it open and carted away food items.
Reacting to the development, the government directed security agencies involved to arrest and prosecute anyone found violating the curfew, and those responsible for the breakdown of law and order as well as looting and destroying properties.
The affected communities include Barnawa, Kakuri, and Television in Kaduna South LGA, and Maraban Rido, Sabon Tasha, Narayi, and Ungwan Romi of Chikun LGA.
#ENDSARS: IGP Talks Tough, Says Enough Is Enough
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate deployment of operational assets and resources to bring an end to the nationwide unrest.
Following the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, there has been serious unrest in the country which has led to the destruction and looting of properties.
The IGP gave the order in a statement issued by Police spokesman, DCP Frank Mba on Saturday
The Police Chief asked all Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, and the Special Protection Unit, to immediately restore order.
He ordered the police head to personally lead and coordinate the operation and use all legitimate means, to halt a further slide into lawlessness and brigandage.
Nobel Laureate, Soyinka Denies Video Claim On Igbo, Yoruba
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has called on Igbo indigenes to ignore threats asking them to leave Yorubaland.
In a video circulating on social media, Grandson Adeyinka, a UK-based Nigerian, called on Igbo indigenes to leave south-west states.
In the video, Adeyinka issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Igbo, warning that those who refuse to leave will be dealt with.
However, Soyinka, reacting to the video, condemned the message, saying the threat “is the work of sick, cowardly minds.”
Soyinka called on social media platforms to stop giving publicity to people who peddle fake news, especially ones targeted at creating ethnic tension.
Soyinka’s remark was contained in a statement he titled ‘Identity Thieves on the Rampage.’
“Undoubtedly in order to promote the video clip of an ethnic revanchist calling on Igbo to leave Yoruba land, this same lunatic fringe has exhumed, and embarked on circulating an ancient fabrication – several years mouldering in the grave – once attributed to me and vigorously denounced,” Mr Soyinka said.
“That statement impudently expounds, as my utterance, what the Hausa want, what the Yoruba want, and what the Igbo want. Such an attribution – let me once again reiterate – is the work of sick, cowardly minds that are ashamed, or lack the courage, as the saying goes, ‘to answer their fathers’ names. At least the current ethnic rabble-rouser has the courage of his convictions, not so the sick brigade of identity thieves.
“Normally, one should totally ignore the social dregs. However, in the present atmosphere where fake news is so easily swallowed and acted upon without reflection, I feel once again obliged to denounce this recurrent obscenity.
“As for our brother and sister Igbo, I hope they have learnt to ignore the toxic bilge under which some Nigerian imbeciles seek to drown the nation.”
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