Russia said on Wednesday that some US diplomats would have to leave the country by January 31, before the end of next month. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said US embassy employees who have been in Russia for more than three years would have to leave the country by January 31. He said that Russia’s demand is in retaliation for US action, in which 55 Russian diplomats have been asked to leave the country.
“We view the US demand as a removal and will respond to it as such,” the spokesman said. Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Anatole Antonov, said last week that 27 Russian diplomats would have to leave the country by January 30, and a similar number would have to return six months later.
a growing gap
He rejected the US State Department’s argument that Russian diplomats would have to leave because their visas were expiring. Antonov had said that the US refusal to extend the visa would be seen as the expulsion of the diplomats. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Ryabkov called the US move a “destruction of diplomatic missions”.
It is noteworthy that relations between the US and Russia have come to a standstill in recent days due to allegations such as Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea, Russian interference in the US presidential election, hacking and both have criticized each other’s diplomats like expulsion and imposition of sanctions. Many steps have been taken.