Putin Says Russia May Order US To Cut Further Diplomatic Staff

Angelo Anderson
September 7, 2017

The State Department made that demand after Moscow ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic personnel in Russian Federation to 455 by September 1, which Putin said meant cutting 755 personnel, in retaliation for a new USA law that strengthened US sanctions against Russian Federation.

Last week the Trump administration announced it was shuttering the Russian Consulate in San Francisco as well as annexes in Washington and NY in response to mandated staff cuts at the United States mission in Russia.

The United States said the closures of Russian diplomatic property would achieve "parity" in the country's respective diplomatic missions, a word borrowed from the Russian side when it cut the US diplomatic mission by 755 employees in July.

Putin said the USA had a right to close the consulates but that "it was done in such a rude way".

The U.S. order for Russia to vacate some of its diplomatic properties was the latest in a series of tit-for-tat actions that began when former U.S. president Barack Obama, late a year ago, expelled 35 Russian diplomats.

Moscow had previously ordered the United States to reduce its diplomatic presence to 455 people by September 1, the same number that Russian Federation has in the US. It said that Putin's government developed a clear preference for Trump, who said during the campaign that he would seek closer cooperation with Moscow.

Speaking to reporters following a summit of the BRICS countries in China, Putin said on September 5 that Moscow will "see how the situation develops" before making a decision regarding the number of USA diplomats in Russian Federation.

The Russian leader also said Tuesday he could sue USA authorities over violating Russian property rights.

"We'll see how efficient the much-praised American judiciary is", he added. That has largely been derailed by allegations about Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

But relations have been damaged by accusations from US intelligence officials that Russian Federation sought to meddle in the presidential election.

Moscow said the move aimed to bring the number of USA and Russian diplomats working on each other's soil to parity.

Russian Federation denies meddling the USA election, despite powerful evidence, and Trump denies that there was any collusion between his campaign or transition team and Russian Federation.

"Strictly speaking, if we are talking about full parity, there should be not 455 USA diplomats in [Russia] but [455] minus 155". "After all, he is not my bride, and I am not his groom - we are statesmen".

The United States has ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two buildings housing trade missions in Washington and NY.

Nauert also noted the United States was allowing Russian Federation to maintain additional annexes "in an effort to arrest the downward spiral in our relationship" but was "prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted".

"Trump is guided by the national interests of his country, and I by mine".

Trump, himself battling allegations that his associates colluded with Russian Federation, grudgingly signed into law the new sanctions against Moscow that had been drawn up by Congress.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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