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MP: Russia to Retaliate If US Responds to Moscow Move to Cut Diplomatic Presence

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the photo bankThe Moscow Kremlin towers. (File)
The Moscow Kremlin towers. (File) - Sputnik International
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If the United States takes retaliatory measures in response to Russia's decision to reduce the number of US diplomatic staff, Moscow will come up with a tit-for-tat response, chairman of the Russian upper chamber of parliament's foreign affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev told Sputnik on Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the diplomatic presence of the United States in Russia would be cut by 755 employees.

"If there are counter-moves [by the United States], there will be counter-moves on our part, too. We never leap ahead or show our initiative, but we will take tough approach in case of the reciprocal action [by the United States]," Kosachev said.

The lawmaker stressed that Moscow's reciprocal measures might affect the areas related to the work of US diplomatic missions in Russia and the situation with regard to the diplomatic property.

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At the same time, Kosachev noted that despite the staff reduction, the US diplomatic missions would have enough personnel to operate fully.

Russia's move came as a response to a series of measures implemented by the United States.

Last week, both chambers of the US Congress 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 Trump intended to sign the bill.

In December 2016, Washington adopted sanctions targeting Russia over its alleged interference in the US presidential election, something which Moscow has repeatedly denied, expelling 35 Russian diplomats and seizing two diplomatic compounds used by Russia.

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