Putin confirms 755 US diplomatic staff must leave
July 30, 2017 5:33 pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that 755 staff must leave US diplomatic missions, in retaliation to new US sanctions against Russia.
Russia said last week that the staffing levels must be brought to 455 by September, the same number of Russian diplomats in Washington.
However, Mr Putin struck a conciliatory note, saying although he could impose more measures, he did not want to.
But he also said he could not see a change in relations “anytime soon”.
Mr Putin told Russian television: “More than 1,000 people were working and are still working” at the US embassy and consulates, and that “755 people must stop their activities in Russia”.
Russia has also said it is seizing holiday properties and a warehouse used by US diplomats.
Mr Putin suggested he could consider more measures, but said: “I am against it as of today.”
He also noted the creation of a de-escalation zone in southern Syria as an example of a concrete result of working together.