Russia Retaliates For Sanctions Approval, Hitting At US Diplomatic Corps

  • Russia Retaliates For Sanctions Approval, Hitting At US Diplomatic Corps

Russia Retaliates For Sanctions Approval, Hitting At US Diplomatic Corps

On Friday, Russia's Foreign Ministry had signaled that the U.S. would need to downsize its diplomatic staff to 455, to exactly match the number of Russian diplomatic staff in the U.S. Now, Putin has announced the exact number of staff he's ordered the U.S. embassy in Moscow to cut.

Moscow has responded by ordering a reduction in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russian Federation and closing the U.S. Embassy's recreation retreat.

In a statement on Friday, Russia's foreign ministry said the United States must reduce its staff to 455 people by September 1. Having read the latest version, the White House said Mr. Trump intends to sign it.

The White House had opposed the new sanctions package that curbs Trump's ability to lift the punishment, but the near-total support in the US Senate and House put him in a major bind.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied the conclusions of USA intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered using cyber warfare methods.

A team of House and Senate negotiators late last week resolved several lingering issues with the sanctions bill and also agreed to add the North Korea penalties. "I decided that it is time for us to show that we will not leave anything unanswered".

Thirty-five Russian diplomats were expelled from the United States in December under sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama in response to Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 USA election.

The sanctions bill would slap new sanctions on Russian Federation, as well as Iran and North Korea, and would set into law penalties President Barack Obama's administration imposed on Moscow in December, for its meddling in the U.S. election past year and for its aggression in Ukraine.

Trump's vow to extend a hand of cooperation to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been met with resistance as skeptical lawmakers look to limit the executive power's leeway to go easy on Moscow over its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump will sign the bill into law, ending speculation over whether he would veto the measure.

If Mr Trump chooses to veto it, the bill is expected to garner enough support in both chambers to override his veto and pass it into law.

Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn had to resign after his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak came to light, some of which are thought to have been about easing sanctions.

Tillerson said that the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of the sanctions and that they "represent the strong will of the American people to see Russian Federation take steps to improve relations with the United States".

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday confirmed that US diplomatic missions in Russia will be cut by 755 people, following a sanctions bill the US Congress passed last week.

Mattis' opinion hadn't shifted several months later when he told the House Armed Services Committee that he'd yet to see "any indication that Mr. Putin would want a positive relationship with us".

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin didn't wait for Trump's reaction to the sanctions bill because "the form in which it emerged from the Senate had greater significance". "He has to show Russian Federation can't be pushed around by the United States". If Trump rejected the bill, Corker said, Congress would overrule him.

The bill would affect a range of Russian industries and might further hurt the Russian economy, already weakened by 2014 sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crime from Ukraine.