"According to the Vienna Convention [on Diplomatic Relations], if you hire nationals of the country where your embassy works, these people can exclusively be technical staff — drivers, typists, stenographers. They don't have the right to get involved in diplomatic activity, including political aspects," Lavrov said.
Despite this fact, Russia has repeatedly learned about incidents when locally hired US embassy employees toured regions and surveyed the local residents on their opinion about the governor or federal authorities.
"In this case, we politely ask our US colleagues to break the employment relationships with these people. I think that they [US authorities] don't perceive these cases as interference, because, first, they feel free to do everything they want, and second, it runs in their blood," Lavov said.
In December 2016, the administration of former US President Barack Obama imposed a set of punitive measures against Russia, including the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closure of the two Russian diplomatic compounds. The actions were taken in response to Moscow's alleged interference in the US presidential election, which Russia has repeatedly denied.
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.