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frozenmail.net August 21, 2017


USA diplomats evacuate confiscated summerhouse in Moscow

03 August 2017, 04:44 | Christie Tate

Dangerous escalation: On Russia's expulsion US staff

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Sunday that 755 U.S. diplomats will be expelled from Russia on Sept. 1

Moscow clearly has found the reality unappealing: Endless bad-mouthing from the USA press and defense officials; mounting us activism in Syria, bumping up against Russia's own troops and its allies; no return of its compounds; no sanctions relief. This is the first time Washington has made a move against Moscow without European consent.

"I think there is actually a very real risk that we could get into an escalatory spiral that would be hard for either country to control", said Beebe, now with the Center for the National Interest.

SHAPIRO: And what does that mean for the functioning of the U.S. Embassy?

The ultimatum issued by the Russian leader is a display to voters at home that he is prepared to stand up to Washington - but is also carefully calibrated to avoid directly affecting the U.S. investment he needs, or burning his bridges with U.S. President Donald Trump. Local hires handled mundane tasks like cleaning toilets and picking up milk shipments.

SHAPIRO: How much of a shift is this in the way Russian Federation is reacting to President Trump? Obviously, the United States must deal with Russian Federation on a variety of issues, including North Korea, the war in Syria and negotiations on the two superpowers' nuclear arsenals. Even the spouses of embassy staffers pitched in. One male got out of the vehicle to lock the gate.

Allegations by the USA intelligence community that Russian Federation interfered in the U.S. election to aid Mr Trump are now being investigated by Congress and a special investigator. "His hands are tied on Russian Federation at the moment, given U.S. politics". The State Department inspector general's report from 2013 showed that there were 934 "locally employed" staff in a total of 1,279.

Russian Federation has also said it is seizing holiday properties and a warehouse used by United States diplomats.

With a sweeping cut in the number of USA diplomatic personnel in Russia, President Vladimir Putin has raised the stakes further in an escalating rift with the United States. Moscow initially held off after private conversations with Trump transition officials about the sanctions.

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The new U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation were overwhelmingly approved by both houses of Congress despite objections from the White House.

"What happened is a response to bad choices taken by President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation".

"And what they are signaling is that their problem is still with the Obama administration", she noted.

"It's significant that it's such a big number", he said. "It's nearly always symmetric".

The Kremlin vowed Sunday to retaliate against the United States for approving new sanctions against Russian Federation for its meddling in last year's presidential election to help President Donald Trump win the White House. "Eleven percent said they somewhat disagreed with it, and just 3% do not support it completely", the center said.

"The last two employees to leave the property in Moscow's prestigious compound of Serebryany Bor hung a lock on the gates", the RIA Novosti news agency quoted its correspondent who witnessed the departure as saying, Xinhua reported. That could be the goal, said Evelyn Farkas, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russian Federation. The Kremlin is also set to seize two us diplomatic compounds.

Peskov said it was now a "choice for the US" on which staff Washington chooses to axe from its missions around the country, adding he did not know if this would now make it harder for Russians to get United States visas. "It's another example of the Russian government cutting off its nose to spite the Russian people's face", Farkas said.



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