21:35 GMT26 January 2021
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    US Unlikely to Shift From Agreements on Syria Over Diplomats' Expulsion

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    Moscow does not expect Washington to shift from the agreements on Syria after Russia's decision to cut the US diplomatic personnel, since combating terrorism remained a priority for both states, Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of Russia's upper house of parliament, told Sputnik on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Foreign Ministry asked the United States on Friday to reduce the number of the personnel of its embassy in Russia in line with the number of that of the Russian Embassy in the United States, estimated at 455, by September 1. The move came as a response to the anti-Russia policy of the United States and the new sanctions against Moscow being developed. The US Department of State expressed its regret earlier in the day over Moscow's decision, adding that it was assessing the possible response to this step.

    "Countering terrorism in Syria will not be affected, our retaliatory measures would not influence the earlier adopted decisions, including those at the presidents' meeting in Hamburg," Ozerov said.

    Ozerov stressed that fighting against terrorism was included on the election campaign agenda of US President Donald Trump, and Washington did not seem to abandon it.

    During the July 7 meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump held their first bilateral meeting and agreed, among other issues, to implement a regional ceasefire in southern Syria.


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