Russia Expels Some US Diplomats Over Sanctions

Agence France-Press reports:

Russia’s foreign ministry on Friday announced counter measures in response to tough new sanctions proposed by the United States, ordering Washington to reduce its diplomatic staff. Moscow ordered the US to reduce its diplomatic presence in Russia to 455 diplomats and staff and also barred it from using a Moscow summer house and storage facility.

It has not yet been confirmed how many embassy staff the US has in Russia, however Interfax news agency quoted a source saying “hundreds” would have to be cut. The ministry said that this was in response to the passing of a new bill on sanctions by the Senate late Thursday. US President Donald Trump will now have to decide whether to accept or veto the measures.

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday slammed what he called “anti-Russian hysteria” in Washington and said that Russia could not “endlessly tolerate this kind of insolence.” Moscow complained that the “new sanctions bill showed with all clarity that relations with Russia have fallen hostage to the domestic political struggle in the US.”