Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Putin Orders 755 US Diplomats to Leave | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55379991

Trump and Putin met for the first time at a G20 summit in Germany this month. Russia’s hopes for warmer relations with the US under Trump appear to be souring with the massive expulsion/Reuters

Moscow- Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered on Sunday 755 American diplomats to leave the Russian territories in response to the US Senate vote last Thursday to slap new sanctions on Moscow.

The Russian President also ruled out any positive developments in the relations with Washington anytime soon.

In an interview with the Rossiya 1 TV channel, Putin said: “We’ve been waiting for quite a long time that maybe something would change for the better, we had hopes that the situation would change. But it looks like, it’s not going to change in the near future.”

Putin announced that 755 American diplomats would have to leave Russia after the Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded the US Mission to Russia last Friday to limit the total mission’s staffing to 455 employees by September 1.

The Russian president also said the “American side has made a move with unlawful restrictions, attempts to influence other states of the world, including our allies, who are interested in developing and keeping relations with Russia.”

Putin added that more than one thousand diplomats are still working at the American diplomatic missions in Russia.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told ABC’s This Week that the US sanctions bill was ‘weird and unacceptable.”

Ryabkov warned that “If the US side decides to move further towards further deterioration, we will answer. We will respond in kind. We will mirror this. We will retaliate.”

Last Friday, the White House said that US President Donald Trump would sign the sanctions bill against Russia.

The Russian official also said: “We have a very rich toolbox at our disposal,” without elaborating what additional measures Moscow would take in the future.

In a separate development, Putin also signed Sunday a legislation prohibiting the use of Internet proxy services, including virtual private networks, or VPNs and cracked down on the anonymous use of instant messaging services.