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US Diplomatic Staff Begins Withdrawing From Russia
02 August 2017, 12:44 | Marta Robbins
Russia is banning the use of virtual private networks. Michael Mc Closkey Getty Images
Putin had hoped relations would improve with the U.S., but now says it does not appear that will happen soon, according to state media.
Moscow ordered the reduction after US lawmakers passed a bill that would impose additional sanctions on Russian Federation and prevent President Donald Trump from easing most punitive measures without congressional approval. "This is a regrettable and uncalled for act", a State Department official told TWS.
He said the step does not only serve the interests of Syria, or Russian Federation, but also benefits the interests of Israel and Jordan, which means it also benefits the US. The bill has still to be signed by US President Donald Trump.
Peskov said the reduction of diplomatic staff ordered by Putin could include Russian Federation citizens.
In December 2016, following allegations of Russian meddling in the US presidential election, President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closure of two Russian diplomatic recreational retreats. It will be especially problematic for all those Russians employed by the United States government who will find themselves unemployed, said Galeotti.
The US on Tuesday cleared out of two diplomatic compounds around Moscow under the first stage of punitive measures imposed by Russian Federation in retaliation for new sanctions being readied in Washington.
[The sanctions include] unlawful restrictions, attempts to influence other states of the world, including our allies, who are interested in developing and keeping relations with Russian Federation.
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From the perspective of RT - a state-run news outlet that is often referred to in the West as Russian propaganda -reported, that as part of the sanctionsRussia was told to reduce its staff in Washington to 455 people and that Putins actions were simply a retaliation.
In December, the Obama administration ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and expelled 35 Russian diplomats in response to alleged hacking of the US Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign. "We are hopeful that someone on the other side, President Trump included, but also others, may see here a chance for a somewhat different way".
"We should, I figured, show that we will not leave anything without an answer", the president added.
Political analysts in the United States had thought Trump, in an attempt to ease tensions with Putin, might overturn the Obama sanctions when he assumed power in January, but he did not. But despite Mr. Trump's overtures, the US establishment has continued to take a hard-line position towards Moscow.
"Over 1,000 employees - diplomats and technical workers - worked and continue to work today in Russian Federation; 755 will have to stop this work", he said.
Putin indicated that he is done waiting for relations with the U.S.to improve. "That could cripple the construction of a colossal natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany known as Nord Stream 2, which is owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom but also has European investors". "It's going to become law, and every indication that I get is they're going to sign it".
The story of the USA sanctions showed that the Kremlin no able to make any dvuhhodovki.
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