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Sanctions Tit-for-Tat: Moscow Orders US to Cut Its Embassy Staff, Close Storage Facilities

21st Century Wire says…

This week the US House of Representatives voted to impose new sanctions on Russia which will ultimately force the hand of President Donald Trump to either veto the bill, or be required to court Congress to obtain lawmakers’ permission before any move to ease sanctions against Russia is initiated.

As a result of this, and previous aggressive moves by President Obama, the Kremlin has begun the process of ‘tit for tat’ retaliation. Moscow believes that US-led sanctions are unwarranted and unfriendly in diplomatic terms.

Surprisingly, the EU, including leading member states France and Germany have also weighed-in to criticise punitive US sanctions – believing that such sanctions will damage Europe’s trade with Russia and overall EU economic interests.

The US sanctions bill against Russia also targets Washington-designated “axis of evil” nations Iran and North Korea.

Despite Trump’s willingness to reach out to Russia – the DC swamp keeps winding-up the tension with Moscow. According to House Speaker, Paul Ryan, the bill “tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries in order to keep Americans safe.”

RT International confirms…

Moscow has told the US to reduce the number of its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people, and is also halting the use of embassy storage facilities in the capital, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The retaliatory move comes after the US Congress approved new sanctions against Russia.

“The Russian side is suspending the use of all storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow, and a cottage in Serebryaniy Bor by the US Embassy in Russia as of August 1,” the ministry said in a statement.

The number of US diplomatic service staff in Russia should be reduced to equal the number of Russian diplomats in the US by September 1, Moscow says.

This means that the total number of personnel involved in the American diplomatic and consular institutions in the Russian Federation is reduced to 455.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved the move, according to his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.

Russia has also threatened to resort to additional retaliatory measures in case of new moves by Washington to reduce its diplomatic corps.

“In the case of new unilateral actions of the US authorities to reduce the number of our diplomats in the US, it will be followed by a tit-for-tat response,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

“We reserve the right on other mutual measures, which can affect US interests.”

On July 14, Moscow warned that it was running out of patience in light of the stalemate that followed the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds in the US, and mentioned possible retaliatory measures including the expulsion of diplomats.

“We have something to retaliate with: the personnel of the US embassy in Moscow greatly exceeds the number of our embassy staff in Washington,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated.

Russian diplomatic property was confiscated by the Obama administration in 2016, in response to alleged Russian meddling in the US election. The US also expelled 35 Russian diplomats and denied Russian diplomatic staff access to the New York and Maryland compounds…

Continue this story at RT

READ MORE RUSSIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Russia Files

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