On Thursday, the US Department of State demanded that the Russian government close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, DC, and a consular annex in New York City by September 2, in what it called "the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians."
The two countries exchanged punitive diplomatic measures earlier: the US has reduced the size of its staff at the US Embassy in Russia by 455 people as instructed by Moscow in July as a response to the 2016 expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the US and the seizure of Russian diplomatic property.
"Someone somewhere should certainly stop it. Russia however might not want to respond to it," political analyst Boris Mezhuev, deputy editor-in-chief of Russia's Izvestiya newspaper told Sputnik in his comment on the demand.
The political analyst, however, suggested that the diplomatic confrontation between Moscow and Washington is unlikely to stop.
"I assume there is still potential for the escalation of the conflict," he said.
Meanwhile Sergei Ordzhonikidze, a veteran Russian diplomat who served as the director general of the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva (2002-2011), deputy foreign minister (1999-2002) and currently heads the Russian Public Council for International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy, explained to Sputnik why the latest US move "is not an indication of confidence in its course."
"It is not an indication of confidence in your course when you constantly try to impinge upon someone's diplomatic representations. These are very shallow pinches, which however can't but spoil the relations," he said.
The former diplomat expressed concern that the confrontation between Moscow and Washington could leave "no one to explain to its leadership the position of the other side, which is the main business of diplomats."
He also suggested that the minimization of diplomatic relations "is not good for the atmosphere of global international relations."
"The Americans apparently have chosen the way of confrontation. However, it may never end if you keep reducing diplomatic and consulate representations. This could bring diplomatic relations between the two countries down to a minimum. These two countries, however, are responsible for many world issues. The settlement of many regional crises and conflicts depend on the positions of Russia and the US," Sergei Ordzhonikidze explained.
"There is a large number of advanced technological facilities concentrated on the Western coast of the US: Silicon Valley, military manufacturing facilities, probably this had a certain meaning," he said.
The move is certainly not aimed at the improvement of relations between the two countries, he added, nor at the settlement of worldwide crises and conflicts.
"This is being done by anti-Russian politicians. There are people in the US, who want to maximally damage the relations between the two countries, as well as people who don't want to do it," he said.
"After the closure of its diplomatic missions, Russia won't die and will live on. However, it should be stopped at some point," the former diplomat concluded.