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Moscow cuts back number of personnel in US diplomatic and consular missions
The total number of personnel in US diplomatic and consular missions will be downsized to 455 people, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"We suggest the American side should equal the number of diplomatic and technical staff working in the US Embassy to Moscow and the consulates general in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to the exact number of Russian diplomats and technical staff members working in the US before September 1," the Russian ministry said in a statement.
"This means that the total number of the staff engaged in US diplomatic and consular establishments will be reduced to 455 people," the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.
Moscow has also suspended from August 1 use by the US embassy in Russia the warehouses in Dorozhnaya Street and the property in Serebryany Bor, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, published on Friday.
The ministry said, on July 27, the US Congress adopted a new bill on tougher sanctions against Russia.
"The Russian side suspends from August 1 use by the US embassy in Russia of all the warehouses in Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow and of the property in Serebryany Bor," the Foreign Ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that Moscow reserves the right for additional restrictive measures, which could have an impact on Washington's interests, as part of reciprocal steps to US recent policies.
"As part of our reciprocal steps we reserve the right for other measures, which could have an impact on the interests of the United States," the statement said.
In late December 2016, the US Administration, at that time led by Barack Obama, introduced sanctions against Russia and closed two Russian diplomatic properties in states of New York and Maryland. Access to the properties was closed for the Russian personnel.
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 28Jul17]
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