The move prompted Russia, on Thursday, to announce the expulsion of 60 U. Why Seattle? What was going on there? Would the closure matter? Indeed, at least in Seattle, suspected Russia spies have already been caught attempting to infiltrate local tech companies. After the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, former senior U. One of the two anonymous former intelligence officials I spoke with called Seattle a top-five U. Seattle did not have the same type of communications facilities as San Francisco, the two former officials said. In fact, Russian diplomats used to regularly drive a van with protected diplomatic information from San Francisco to Seattle, said a second official, though the frequency of those trips decreased over time, when U.
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Madison Street Photo by Matt M. When the Russian Consulate in Seattle opened in the early s, it was a gesture of goodwill at a period when relations between the U. It unfolded in concert with the establishment of an American Consulate in Vladivostok, on the far eastern edge of Russia. The two Pacific Rim port cities had been largely closed off to diplomacy between the two countries, thanks in part to their proximity to sensitive landmarks, such as the Bangor Naval Base on the Kitsap Peninsula, said Carol Vipperman, who helped get the Seattle consulate off the ground. Jackson Foundation, which has devoted significant efforts to human rights and supporting Russian studies at the University of Washington. Now, with the closure of the consulate in Seattle ordered by the Trump administration, Vipperman fears the Vladivostok consulate will soon follow. Derek Norberg, president of the Council for U. The Trump administration said the consulate in Seattle was pegged for closure due to its proximity to Bangor as well as to Boeing. Yushmanov lives, off E. Madison Street near the gated community of Broadmoor.
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The first thing you need to understand about the building that, until very recently, housed the Russian Consulate in San Francisco — a city where topography is destiny, where wealth and power concentrate, quite literally, at the top — is its sense of elevation. This is a neighborhood that radiates a type of wealth, power, and prestige that long predates the current wave of nouveau riche tech millionaires, or the wave before that, or the one before that. It is old and solid and comfortable with its privilege; its denizens know they have a right to rule. Indeed, from Pacific Heights, one can simultaneously gaze out on the city, the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge — and, beyond, the vast, frigid Pacific. I rushed to the consulate the day the closure announcement was made and watched the building sit impassively in the heat, while the media crews cooled off in the shade.
We are duly registered with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia for inviting foreign tourists. What it is, what it looks like, how to get one. Everything you need to know about a Russian visa put in layman's terms.