The United States Embassy in Moscow and consulates general are expected to cut up to 300 of their staff members from the current 600 to 700 people, an informed source told Sputnik on Friday.
“There is currently 600-700 [personnel] now, and the cut will be very painful to them,” the source said, pointing out that the reduction would affect 200-300 U.S. staff members.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, after the US Congress passed sweeping sanctions bills on Thursday, ordered the US missions to reduce the number of their diplomatic personnel in Russia to 455 people by September 1.
NAN reports that Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, said Russia is not ruling out any steps to bring the United States to its senses,
Ryabkov said: “We are not ruling out any steps to bring overweening Russophobes to their senses, who are setting the tone on the Capitol Hill and are dictating such decisions.”
Russia will consider a set of measures which will depend on how the United States will react to the situation, according to the Russian official.
He said: “It is not limited to limiting the number of employees working in US agencies in Russia, or to limiting the US access to the Serebryanyy Bor compound or to warehouses on the Dorozhnaya Street.”
NAN reports that the US Senate approved a bill in a 98 to two vote Thursday to impose sweeping sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea and limit President Donald Trump’s ability to lift the restrictions on Moscow.
The bill passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday by a vote of 419 to three.