Putin confirms symmetric reduction of the US diplomatic missions
Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed the reduction of the staff at US diplomatic missions in Russia in symmetric response to steps of the previous US administration, which took place at new year’s eve last year.
Russian state media quoted Putin saying 755 out of “a thousand or so” employees will “have to stop their activities in the Russian Federation.” That includes diplomats and technical workers, he said.
The Russian President defined the number of US diplomats operating in Russia as 455, a figure equal to the number of Russian diplomats in the United States, according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry. The statement gave a deadline of September 1 for the staff cuts.
The United States has not identified how many diplomatic employees are in Russia. Russia’s state television, First Channel, reported Saturday that 745 of 1,200 people employed at the US embassy and consulates would be affected.