Seattle's Russian Consulate Reportedly a Big Intel Outpost

That's why it's now closed; world awaits Russia's response to mass expulsions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2018 6:47 AM CDT
Updated Mar 27, 2018 7:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Russia has yet to take retaliatory action against the US and other nations that are expelling diplomats accused of being intelligence officers, but it sounds like it won't be a long wait. Moscow has condemned the "confrontational policy" and again denied any role in what prompted it—the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain. At the very least, Moscow is expected to begin expelling diplomats soon, and the BBC notes that Russia's embassy in the US is hinting via a tweeted survey that at least one American consulate in Russia might be shuttered as well. The Guardian expects Moscow to "respond harshly." Developments:

  • Seattle hassle: The US closed the Russian consulate in downtown Seattle, and the Seattle Times talks to people who had shown up for passport renewals, including one woman who flew in from California, only to be turned away. "It's tense," says one woman. The story also has background on the reason cited for the closure: the consulate's proximity to the Kitsap naval base, home to eight nuclear subs. The Washington Post reports that the consulate is believed to have served as a "key outpost" for Russian intelligence, partly because it was so close to the base.

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