Russia has told the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to cut its diplomatic staff to 455, matching the staff at Russia’s Embassy in Washington, and has barred the use of some properties.
The Russian foreign ministry said it was seizing holiday properties and a warehouse used by U.S. diplomats in response to the Obama administration’s order to seize two Russian diplomatic compounds and expel 35 Russian diplomats in response to Russia’s hacking of the Democratic Party. “The U.S. is stubbornly taking one crudely anti-Russian step after another, using the utterly fictitious pretext of Russian interference in its internal affairs,” the Russian foreign ministry said. According to Reuters, the US Embassy employs roughly 1,100 diplomatic and support staff including U.S. and Russian citizens.
If President Trump decides to sign Congress’ sanctions bill, more Russian retaliation is inevitable.