Max de Haldevang | Quartz | March 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Russia’s Irresistible Question to Twitter: Which U.S. Consulate Should It Shut?

A sign directs visitors to a July 4 celebration at the U.S. Consulate Building in Vladivostok in 2017. A sign directs visitors to a July 4 celebration at the U.S. Consulate Building in Vladivostok in 2017. State Department

The Kremlin isn’t waiting around on its promised “reciprocal” response to America’s expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats and closure of Russia’s consulate in Seattle.

Moscow has promised to boot at least the same number of U.S. officials and is drumming up attention over its consulate closure plans in an ingenious way: by asking for help from Twitter. The official Twitter account for the Russian embassy in the US. .put out a poll today (March 24), asking whether it should shutter America’s presence in St Petersburg, Vladivostok, or Yekaterinburg.

At the time of writing 46% of 4,456 votes had gone to St. Petersburg, 34% to Yekaterinburg, and 20% to Vladivostok. (Quartz was forced to vote to see the results. We voted for Yekaterinburg. Sorry, Yekaterinburg.)

The US made the moves as part of a coordinated Western retaliation to the alleged poisoning of British agent Sergei Skripal on UK soil. Fourteen EU countries, plus Ukraine and Canada also expelled Russian diplomats.

The White House said it closed the Seattle consulate because of its proximity to a U.S. submarine base and a Boeing facility. It says that all 60 expelled Russian diplomats were cloaked spies.

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