Bilateral Relations

US embassy in Russia to reduce staff to 120 people

by APA

Starting from August 1, the US Embassy in Russia will continue its work with the minimal number of employees – 120 people – due to restrictions on hiring Russian staffers, imposed by Moscow in response to Washington’s anti-Russian sanctions in April, APA reports citing TASS.

In April, Washington expelled 10 Russian diplomats, claiming they had ties with Russian intelligence services.

In an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station, US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan said the embassy would have to sack its Russian staffers, bringing the overall number of employees to one tenth of what it had in 2016, or 1,200 people.

The overall limit of staffers for the both the Russian diplomatic mission to the United States and the US mission to Russia remains the same, at 455 people.

Moscow has repeatedly told Washington that it was ready to accept diplomats and other staffers from Washington. However, as Russia’s Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov said in July, the US side had filed no requests for Russian diplomatic visas so far.

In mid-April, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order imposing anti-Russian sanctions. Thus, US companies cannot buy Russian debt securities issues by the Central Bank, the National Welfare Fund or the finance ministry after June 14, 2021. Sanctions were slapped on 16 legal entities and 16 individuals allegedly involved in meddling with the US elections. Eight individuals and legal entities were blacklisted for operation in Crimea. Apart from that, the United States is expelling ten Russian diplomats from the Russian embassy in Washington, with “representatives of Russian intelligence services” among them, as the US side claims.

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