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(CNSNews.com) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov alluded Monday to a further reduction in the number of U.S. diplomatic staff on Russian territory, signaling that the ****-for-tat spat with the United States is far from over.
Speaking during a visit to Jordan, Lavrov indicated that there was some way to go yet before the U.S. and Russia have absolute parity in the number of diplomatic staff in each other’s country.
Conditions - American - Missions - Russia - Russian
“We are now studying the conditions in which American foreign missions in Russia and Russian foreign missions in the U.S. are operating, and we will make these conditions totally equal,” the Itar-TASS news agency quoted him as saying.
Six weeks ago, Lavrov’s ministry announced that in response to new sanctions legislation signed by President Trump, the U.S. diplomatic corps in Russia must be scaled down to match the 455 Russian diplomats and staff based in the U.S.
President - Vladimir - Putin - Figure - US
President Vladimir Putin subsequently put the figure of U.S. diplomats and staff in Russia who would have to “terminate their activity” at 755, in order to achieve the 455 target.
The State Department complied with the Russian order, but in late August instructed Moscow to close its consulate in San Francisco and trade mission annexes in Washington and New York City. Russia then formally protested what it called illegitimate searches of the buildings by U.S. officials.
Comments - Monday - Lavrov - Russia - Numbers
In his comments Monday, Lavrov said when Russia had laid down numbers in July, it had showed goodwill by including in the calculation Russian diplomats at the United Nations in New York.
Strictly speaking, therefore, once the U.N.-based Russian employees are excluded, the U.S. still has more diplomats and employees in Russia than Russia has in the U.S.
Lavrov signaled that that was about to change:
“The United States has pocketed our kind move and said, ‘Russians want parity, then they should close one of the...
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