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    A general view taken on July 31, 2017 shows the US embassy building in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin on July 30, 2017

    Why Trump's Team 'Hurries to Respond' to Russia's Cuts of US Diplomatic Mission

    © AFP 2017/ Mladen ANTONOV
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    US President Donald Trump's administration is expected to respond to Moscow's recent demands to reduce the US diplomatic staff in Russia by September 1. According to analyst Maxim Suchkov, Trump's team will respond to Moscow's demands as soon as possible, as it doesn't want to raise renewed suspicions of its alleged "ties with the Kremlin."

    Earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington would respond to Moscow's demands to cut down the US diplomatic mission in Russia. According to The Associated Press, Tillerson said that he notified his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, about this decision during their meeting in Manila on Sunday.

    "Tillerson's statements about the upcoming response to Russian countermeasures suggest that the Trump administration, on the one hand, is trying to hurry up with a response that would prevent it from further losing its image inside the country and being once again accused of having 'ties with the Kremlin.' And on the other hand, it doesn't want to give Congress a chance to deal with the preparation of a response," Suchkov told Sputnik.

    "Therefore, I think, the US response will be implemented by the State Department and will be connected with some diplomatic and legal issues," he added.

    Earlier, Russian Kommersant newspaper suggested that Washington could demand from Russia to close one of its four consulates in the United States. Answering the question about the possibility of such a scenario, a representative of the US National Security Council told Sputnik that Washington is taking Moscow's demands seriously and is considering various options to respond.

    At the same time, senior research fellow at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Panov, noted that it is quite likely that a Russian consulate will be closed on US territory.

    "Such a step as the closure of a general consulate is quite predictable," Panov told Sputnik, adding that Washington still believes in its theory of Moscow's interference in the internal affairs of the United States. "That's why such a move could well be justified for Trump — he could show to the American public that he acts decisively toward Russia, " the expert stated.

    After the US Senate approved a bill that imposes sweeping sanctions on Russia and seeks, in particular, to target companies that invest in Russian energy projects, that was later signed into law by President Donald Trump, the Russian Foreign Ministry suspended the use of all US embassy warehouses and its compound in Moscow and also stipulated the US cut down the number of its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people by September 1.

    US diplomatic missions in Russia include a Moscow-based embassy and three consulate generals — in Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg.

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    diplomats, diplomacy, sanctions, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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