Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Putin orders United States to cut diplomatic staff by 755

Putin orders United States to cut diplomatic staff by 755 Putin orders United States to cut diplomatic staff by 755
Bennie Garza | 03 August, 2017, 22:07

This is the first time Washington has made a move against Moscow without European consent. Representatives for the department said that they would assess Russia's latest move and a possible response to it, whereas former US Ambassador Michael McFaul has already started predicting inevitable problems - not the Russian authorities, but for ordinary Russians.

The move might be geared at limiting the U.S.'s ability to operate on Russian soil, experts say, but it has a lot less teeth than the sanctions levied by Congress.

An embassy spokeswoman said: "In line with the Russian government notification, the U.S. Mission to Russia was supposed to have access to our dacha until noon on August 1". Local hires handled mundane tasks like cleaning toilets and picking up milk shipments.

On its face, the 755 figue is extremely high, if not unprecedented: A similar purge hasn't been carried out since 1986, when the Soviet Union forced the United States to dismiss 261 Russian employees after an escalating diplomatic imbroglio. "Every two weeks instead of writing cables, I came to work dressed in dungarees", recalled retired diplomat John Herbst, who was also employed at the Moscow embassy. Even the spouses of embassy staffers pitched in.

"We're going to have a great relationship", he vowed the following April. Aggressive Russian naval and air maneuvers close to USA military forces not only allow Moscow to gauge American reactions, but also send strong signals about Russia's willingness to risk military confrontation in defense of its vital interests.

Earlier this month, Russian Federation teamed up with China to urge the US and South Korea to refrain from large-scale military exercises to encourage the North to show restraint.

Russian diplomats in the USA had less than 24 hours to vacate diplomatic property and 72 hours to leave the United States.

In December, President Barack Obama imposed further sanctions after the USA intelligence community unanimously agreed that Russian hackers, at Putin's direction, had interfered with last year's presidential election.

Sergey Lavrov had a separate briefing on camera saying that Trump was OK with Putin's version of events.

By reacting in kind, if belatedly, to measures taken by the last administration, and not the arguably much more onerous new sanctions bill imposed now by Congress, Russia is sending a clear signal, said Oliker.

Putin's response is not just an angry reaction. However, Russia's options are limited when it comes to striking back against the US, said Pifer.

"It's significant that it's such a big number", he said. Understanding them will be critical if we are to avoid a risky escalatory spiral of action and reaction with Russian Federation. "It's nearly always symmetric".

Ties hit fresh lows in December past year when then USA president Barack Obama ordered out 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two embassy summer houses over reports of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims of interference, calling them "absolutely unfounded". But the vast majority of those will not be Americans but Russian nationals, the New York Times reported on Sunday. That could be the goal, said Evelyn Farkas, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russian Federation.

"I have a harder time these days predicting U.S. policy than Russian policy", said Oliker.

A surge in U.S. -Russia tensions augurs increased instability in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow-backed rebels are waging a separatist campaign.

Dmitry Peskov is a Russian government spokesman. The country gave the USA until September 1 to remove the 755 staff members.

"Reciprocity is the watchword in diplomacy", said Pickering. "And I don't think they are wusses".

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