Moscow orders cut in US diplomats in reaction to sanctions

World Today

Moscow has told Washington, D.C. to cut diplomatic staff at its U.S. Embassy in Russia and said it was seizing two U.S. diplomatic properties.

CGTN’s Julia Lyubova reports.
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Moscow said it is in retaliation to what it calls the proposed illegal U.S. sanctions. The move comes just a day after Vladimir Putin warned a response was imminent.

“At some point we will have to respond. It is impossible to endlessly endure offensive behavior towards our country,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Washington said the sanctions are aimed at punishing Russia for its alleged interference in the U.S. Presidential election in 2016.

Moscow said the United States has until Sept. 1 to reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people.

This is the same number of Russian diplomats Moscow said were left in the United States after Washington expelled 35 of them in December. 

At the same time as it expelled the Russian diplomats, the outgoing Obama administration seized two Russian diplomatic compounds. 

Moscow said it will be seizing a holiday property used by U.S. diplomats and a diplomatic warehouse in Moscow on August 1.

“I think the whole idea of expulsion of Russian diplomats from Obama’s administration; it was to make a possible recovery of US/Russia relations more difficult. If you want to repair relations, you need people to do it,” Dmitry Babych political analyst said.

Paolo Von Schirach on strained diplomacy between US and Russia

To understand the ongoing U.S.-Russia tensions, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Paolo Von Schirach. He’s the president of the Global Policy Institute, and assesses international politics and security.