The US State Department is calling Russia’s decision to cut hundreds from its diplomatic staff in Russia “a regrettable and uncalled for act.” On Friday, Russian’s Foreign Ministry ordered a reduction by September 1 in the number of US diplomatic personnel in Russia. The order came as a response to new sanctions approved by the US Congress and sent to US President Donald Trump to be signed into law.
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US would have to cut its embassy and consulate staff in Russia by 755. He did not explain how that figure was determined.
Putin said more than 1,000 people are currently employed at the Moscow embassy and three US consulates in Russia. They include both Americans and Russians hired to work in the diplomatic offices.