U.S. begins Russian Federation drawdown after Kremlin retaliates for sanctions
02 August, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Dustin Murphy
Russian Federation has called on the United States to show "political will" to improve relations between the two countries.
Seven months prior, amid intelligence reports that Russia had interfered in the USA presidential election, Washington expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shuttered two Russian diplomatic compounds, which it said was used for intelligence collection (the Russian Embassy denies this, and also says the seizure was a breach of US and worldwide law). "This is a regrettable and uncalled for act", a State Department official told TWS.
"We are assessing the impact of such a limitation and how we will respond to it", Washington said on Sunday.
Mr Putin's order is created to show he is prepared to stand up to America after Congress passed a sanctions bill punishing Russian Federation for alleged interference in the 2016 election and the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Russian's Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered a reduction by September 1 in the number of USA diplomats in Russia.
The building, which is being confiscated along with a USA warehouse in the south of the Russian capital, was used by US diplomatic staff at the weekends and to host parties for students, journalists and other diplomats. It will be especially problematic for all those Russians employed by the USA government who will find themselves unemployed, said Galeotti.
Last week, both chambers of the US Congress made a decision to impose new sanctions against Russian Federation over its Crimea reunification and alleged meddling in US elections.
However, the Russian embassy said that the new sanctions "cannot but raise eyebrows", adding: "Washington still doesn't get the fact that pressure never works against Russia".
Putin warned Sunday that Russian Federation could even further retaliate against the new sanctions، saying، however، that slashing the number of U.S. diplomatic staff would suffice for now.
"Washington has never understood that methods of pressure on Russia do not work, and sanctions can not help improve the relations", officials with the Russian Embassy in the United States responded.
It also froze two embassy compounds - a Moscow summer house and a storage facility in the city - from August 1.
Sir Tony Brenton, a former British ambassador to Russian Federation, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that this is a "sign of how angry" Russian Federation is about "their hopes of the relationship getting better going steadily downhill".
Leonid Levin, the head of the Duma's information policy committee, said that the law signed by President Putin was meant to prevent access to "unlawful content" rather than restrict it from law-abiding citizens, according to Russian state news agency RIA.
Be that as it may, the diplomatic dustup is something of a sign that any hopes Russian Federation had for rapprochement with the United States under Trump have been dashed. "It's to the detriment of the interests of the U.S".
How much impact could such moves have on the USA economy?
The US diplomats in Russian Federation have been denied access to a diplomatic recreational compound in Moscow for two days, the US Embassy in Moscow has said.
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The ministry also said it would bar the use of a summer house and storage facilities in Moscow by the USA embassy from August 1. Moscow has responded by ordering a reduction in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russian Federation and closing the U.S.
If U.S. sanctions target western energy companies involved in Nordstream 2, a suspension of the project would be possible. Putin defied expectations and invited USA diplomats' children to Kremlin holiday festivities.
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