MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Trump welcomed the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to cut down the number of staff of US diplomatic missions in Russia as it would help the US government save money.
"If the US president decided to come up with a joke instead of seriously talking about real and very difficult problems in Russia-US relations, we are ready to respond in the same spirit. Our answer might roughly be: 'If we knew in advance that the US was mostly concerned with the cost-cutting for diplomatic staff, then would certainly help,'" Klintsevich said.
"So how many more diplomats should we send from Russia, Mr. Trump, that the US budget finally sighed with relief. Please, tell us the exact figure," Klintsevich said.
US diplomatic missions in Russia include Moscow-based embassy and three consulates general — in Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg.
Back in December, Putin decided not to respond to sanctions imposed by the outgoing US administration and act in accordance with the ties built with the new US leadership. However, since then, the diplomatic property hasn't been returned. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Moscow would take retaliatory measures against Washington if the situation with Russia's diplomatic property in the United States was not resolved.