MANILA (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that US State Secretary Rex Tillerson during the bilateral meeting in Manila had raised the issue of Russia's retaliatory measures in response to the recently introduced US anti-Russia sanctions, and was given the explanations on the issue.
"[Tillerson] was primarily interested, he had begun with the issue of the details of the decisions, which we had been forced to take in response to the bill on anti-Russian sanction adopted by the US Congress. We have given these explanations. It was done on the basis of the interview of [Russian President] Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to Rossiya TV channel. Everything was explained in detail in it — the reasons for the decisions we had taken after the longtime expectations that the United States would avoid confrontation," Lavrov told journalists at a press conference after the meeting with Tillerson on the sidelines of the ASEAN forum in the Philippine capital of Manila.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the new sanctions as "absolutely illegitimate" and responded with its countermeasures, suspending the use of all US Embassy warehouses and its compound in Moscow. Russia also mandated that the US cut the size of its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people by September 1.
On Thursday, Trump blamed the Congress for "an all-time & dangerous low" in relations between the United States and Russia, apparently referring to the sanctions bill. The Kremlin agreed with the US president's assessment.