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State Department Expresses Regret Over Cut of US Diplomatic Presence in Russia

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The US Department of State expressed its regret over Moscow's decision to cut the US diplomatic presence in Russia adding that it assesses the possible response to this step.

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers journalists' questions - Sputnik International
Putin Says Russia Will Cut US Diplomatic Presence by 755 People
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the US diplomatic presence in Russia would be cut by 755 people.

"The Russian government has demanded the U.S. Mission to Russia limit total Mission staffing to 455 employees by September 1. This is a regrettable and uncalled for act. We are assessing the impact of such a limitation and how we will respond to it.  We have no further comment at this time,” a representative of the Department of State told RIA Novosti on Sunday.

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement suggesting that the United States reduce the number of its diplomats in the country commensurate with the number of Russian diplomats in the United States by September 1.

The move came as a response to the 2016 decision of then-US President Barack Obama's administration to impose a number of sanctions on Russia including expelling 35 diplomats and closing two Russian diplomatic compounds.

Earlier this week, both chambers of the US Congress overwhelmingly approved a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, as well as limiting US President Donald Trump's ability to lift the anti-Moscow restrictions. On Friday, the White House said that Trump intended to sign the bill.

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