Sputnik correspondent: All US diplomatic cars leave Moscow

Sputnik correspondent: All US diplomatic cars leave Moscow”

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday hit back at the sanctions by demanding the United States cut its embassy and consulate staff in Russia by 755 people, regarded as Moscow's most aggressive move against Washington since the final years of the Cold War.

It is the harshest such diplomatic action since the waning days of the Cold War and nearly certain to ratchet up tensions between two governments that were already struggling to find common ground. New US sanctions against Russian Federation for its aggression against its neighbors and its unproven interference in last year's American presidential election represent a witch-hunt. But since Trump's inauguration, the controversy over Moscow's meddling in the election has only grown, creating a significant barrier to closer ties.

Pence assured the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - all once part of the Soviet Union - that they would have US support in the event of Russian aggression.

In a phone conversation with Trump today, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on Russian Federation to "increase pressure" on North Korea.

Congress overwhelmingly approved a bill last week to impose new sanctions against Russian Federation, which the White House has said the president will sign. Well, relations between Washington and Moscow were already not good and all these expulsions do is to confirm that they are not going to get better any time soon.

The bill also includes sanctions against Iran and North Korea targeting their respective efforts to develop missiles.In fact, the bill was originally created to apply pressure on these two countries.

"But by the same token, they think there's no benefit in truly antagonizing him, and so they'll jolly him along for the indefinite future", Weiss said.

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.

Trump has so far been silent on Russia's action. A US State Department official denounced the move as a "regrettable and uncalled for act", adding that Washington was now weighing a potential response.

Of course, it is clear that our people in the bakery on the taxi ride in the USA do not fly, that is Putin again gets in the middle class, who have not considered, not only for people but also for the electorate.

"We will seek to work in such a way as to minimize the impact of the sanctions", Igor Sechin told Russian news agencies, adding that sanctions had "started backfiring" to damage American interests.

He did not mention the president by name. A lot of them will be Russian nationals working at USA facilities.

Surprisingly, Putin said he would not respond. With a weakened State Department and a White House increasingly dominated by Trump loyalists with little wider diplomatic experience, the U.S. - as seen from Moscow - looks increasingly unpredictable.

"Only six months into his presidency, Moscow has assessed that Trump is a naif, an incompetent weakling who can not deliver what Russian Federation needs", Schindler wrote.

According to Shlymain, Russia must take it as a given "that the current USA elite (not just the administration, not just officials, not the president, but the elite which runs the country) has an extremely negative attitude toward Russia, as a state which can resist the global leadership of the United States".

Putin described the cuts in the U.S. Embassy and consular personnel as "painful".

Russian President Valdimir Putin has ordered the cut its staff at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, as well as at other diplomatic properties.

"As for other possible measures, or is that too much or not, it is quite painful from the point of view of operating the diplomatic mission".

Of those employees, 301 are USA hires and 934 are locally employed staff. However, Russia's options are limited when it comes to striking back against the US, said Pifer.

But the measures are by far the harshest diplomatic retaliation since 1986, in the final days of the Soviet Union, when Moscow forced 261 local staff members to quit. Then, the president expelled 35 Russian diplomats and seized two Russian properties - one in Maryland and one in NY.

Putin has denied any election meddling, and his government has accused the USA of being "highway robbers" for seizing Russian property.

Medvedev predicted future relations between Russian Federation and the United States "will be extremely tense, regardless of the Congress line up or the personality of the President", and threatened to escalate the matter to global courts. Russian Federation still "has things to say and is able to further restrict areas of common activities, which may be sensitive for the American side", he said.

Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate. asked for his reaction to Trump's tweet, told MSNBC: "I can just tell you we saw real bipartisanship on Capitol Hill when it came to these sanctions".

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