August 21, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin says, 755 US diplomats should leave Russia

01 August 2017, 11:52 | Christie Tate

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After Putin's latest announcement, many people have drawn comparisons to the Cold War era, when in the 1980s the USA and Russian Federation ordered cuts in diplomatic staff and expulsions. "Some work in Russian Federation for other government agencies, as the CIA and U.S. intelligence agencies are euphemistically known". "We will retaliate. But my whole point is, don't do this, it is to the detriment of the interests of the United States".

Russia has ordered the US Embassy to reduce its staff in Moscow by September and barred the use of two properties there as a new chill envelops Russia-US relations and even threatens to echo in Europe.

The US embassy has refused to state how many staff it has at its embassy in Moscow and consulates in the cities of Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.

The White House said on Tuesday that while President Donald Trump has not yet received the Russian sanctions bill from the House, after reviewing an early draft of the legislation, he plans to sign it.

According to him, the unanimous vote on the sanctions bill at US Congress demonstrated the desire to see Russian Federation taking steps to improve the relationship with the United States.

On taking retaliatory measures, Putin said, "I thought it was time for us to show that we will not leave this without an answer". Trump reluctantly said he would sign the sanctions after it became clear Congress would enact them with or without him, but he has so far done nothing. Obama had ordered reductions in Russian diplomatic staff to punish Russia for interfering with the 2016 USA elections. Western cybersecurity experts have primarily blamed Russian Federation for running misinformation campaigns and cyberattacks during the 2016 Presidential election in the United States and the subsequent elections in Europe.

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Michael O'Hanlon is a foreign policy expert for the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. The probes are also looking at whether Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey who was leading the agency's Russian Federation investigation before another former FBI director, Robert Mueller, was named to take over the criminal investigation. The month before Trump took office, then-national security advisor Michael Flynn had discussed the sanctions issue with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's then-ambassador to Washington.

On Sunday, Putin said the United States would have to cut 755 of its embassy and consulate staff in Russian Federation - a sweeping reduction which he described as a response to new USA sanctions. McFaul said on Twitter. "As of now, it "greatly exceeds" the number of Russia's embassy staff in the US".

Sir Tony Brenton, a former British ambassador to Russian Federation, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that this is a "sign of how angry" Russian Federation is about "their hopes of the relationship getting better going steadily downhill".

On Monday, the US Embassy complained that it was denied access to the summerhouse from Sunday.

Ken Bredemeier reported on this story for

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