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White House Retains Hope for Better Ties With Russia Despite Recent Downturn

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the photo bankThe White House in Washington, D.C.
The White House in Washington, D.C. - Sputnik International
The White House has still not lost hope for an improvement of Washington's relationship with Moscow, even in spite of the United States' new sanctions bill and recent response by Russia to earlier imposed sanctions, local media reported, citing a senior administration official.

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

The White House is still hoping for a better relationship, as Russia is seemingly leaving open the possibility to reverse the direction in which the relationship is currently going, the official told the New York Times newspaper on Sunday.

One of the Kremlin towers in Moscow. - Sputnik International
US Has to Refrain From 'Sanctions Diktat' to Boost Ties With Russia - Kremlin
On July 28, 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 administration of then-US President Barack Obama imposing a number of sanctions against Russia in December 2016. The sanctions included expelling 35 Russian diplomats and closing two Russian diplomatic compounds.

Last week, both chambers of the US Congress overwhelmingly approved a bill introducing new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. The bill would also limit US President Donald Trump's ability to lift the anti-Moscow restrictions. On Friday, the White House said that Trump intends to sign the bill into law.

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