Moscow(July 31, 2017): Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia will expel 755 US diplomatic staff and could consider imposing additional measures against the United States as a response to new US sanctions.
Putin said in an interview televised on state television that he ordered the move because he “thought it was the time to show that we’re not going to leave that without an answer”.
He, however, ruled out any immediate measure against the US. “I am against it as of today,” Putin said.
Moscow ordered the US o to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff and said it would seize two US diplomatic properties after the US House of Representatives and the Senate approved new sanctions on Russia.
Russia said the US had until September 1 to reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people, matching the number of Russian diplomats left in the US after Washington expelled 35 Russians in December.
New US sanctions were in part a response to conclusions by US intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, and to further punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.