Putin threatens to expel 155 additional US diplomats

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday threatened to expel as many as 155 more US diplomats from Russia on the backdrop of deteriorating relations between Moscow and Washington.

“We reserve the right to make a decision on the number of US diplomats in Moscow but we will not do so at the moment,” Putin told a press conference following a summit of South China’s Brix states.

Moscow has previously ordered Washington to reduce the number of diplomats to 455 by September 1 to equal the number of Russian diplomats in the United States.

Of these, 155 were working for the Russian diplomatic mission to the United Nations in New York, which meant that his country could reduce the number of US diplomats to 300, “he said.” It is 455 minus 155. ”

On Saturday, Russia was forced to evacuate its consulate in San Francisco and two diplomatic headquarters in New York and Washington after US orders to reduce the number of diplomats.

Russia called on the United States on Sunday to reconsider closing its diplomatic headquarters, stressing that Washington alone bears responsibility for deteriorating relations after “hostile action.”

US-Russian relations have deteriorated to the lowest level since the Cold War after Russia annexed the Crimea last year