Russia has ordered the USA to cut the number of diplomatic staff it has in the country and has also seized a dacha compound and warehouse used by US officials in retaliation for new sanctions against Moscow.
Embassy staff must leave the country by 1 September, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, in a move triggered by the US Senate’s near unanimous vote to slap new sanctions on Russia, further hurting its fragile economy. Russia’s Foreign Ministry also accused Washington of “extreme aggression in international affairs”.
The US embassy’s recreational retreat on the outskirts of Moscow will be closed as well as warehouse facilities.
The number of American diplomats will fall to 455 under the plan, the Foreign Ministry added. It was not immediately clear how many US diplomats now serve in Russia.
Relations between Russia and the United States dropped to a post-Cold War low following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and interference in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Reports of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election have dampened hopes for better ties that the Kremlin pinned on Mr Trump’s presidency.
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