Russia to expel hundreds of US diplomats as tensions rise

DW – July 30, 2017

President Vladimir Putin has ordered the expulsion of 755 US diplomats from Russia, amid rising tensions. The two sides are at odds over Russia’s alleged meddling in the last US election, and its incursions into Ukraine.

President Putin warned on Sunday that bilateral relations with Washington appeared to be headed for a prolonged period of gridlock. He confirmed the exact number of US diplomats who must leave Russia under measures undertaken in retaliation for new sanctions passed by the US Congress.

“More than a thousand people were working and are still working” at the US embassy and consulates, Putin said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television. “Seven hundred and fifty-five people must stop their activities in Russia.” In addition to the embassy in Moscow, there are three consulates in Russia with Americans and Russians working in the diplomatic offices.

The US State Department called the decision “a regrettable and uncalled for act.” An official told Reuters: “We are assessing the impact of such a limitation and how we will respond to it.”