Tit-For-Tat! Russian Ministry Announces Plans To Expel 35 US Diplomats

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Tit-For-Tat! Russian Ministry Announces Plans To Expel 35 US Diplomats

The Russian foreign ministry has announced plans to expel 35 US diplomats in a tit-for-tat response after the US wielded the big stick on the same number of Russian officials in retaliation to Moscow’s efforts to interfere with the US presidential election.

The Guardian quoted Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, as saying that he was recommending the expulsions to President Vladimir Putin.

Lavrov also recommended that US diplomatic representatives should be forbidden from using an embassy country house and warehouse – another direct response to US moves against Russia.

Lavrov said 31 diplomats would be removed from the Russian embassy in Moscow, and four from the country’s consulate in St Petersburg, agencies reported.

There was no immediate signal that the Russian President had approved the proposal from the foreign ministry.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State has given full details why President Barack Obama approved the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and rolled out a list of sanctions against Russia and its citizens.

The Deputy Spokesperson of the Department, Mark Toner, said in a statement that aside the election hack, Russia harassed U.S. diplomats overseas.

He said these actions were in response to Russia’s harassment of American diplomats and actions by the diplomats that had been assessed to be not consistent with diplomatic practice.

He said: “The State Department today declared persona non grata 35 Russian officials operating in the United States who were acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic or consular status.

“The Department also informed the Russian Government that it would deny Russian personnel access to two recreational compounds in the United States owned by the Russian Government.

“The Department took these actions as part of a comprehensive response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and to a pattern of harassment of our diplomats overseas that has increased over the last four years, including a significant increase in the last 12 months.”

Toner further stated that the harassment involved arbitrary police stops, physical assault, and the broadcast on State TV of personal details of U.S. personnel that put them at risk.

“In addition, the Russian Government has impeded our diplomatic operations by, among other actions, forcing the closure of 28 American corners which hosted cultural programmes and English-language teaching.

“Others are blocking our efforts to begin the construction of a new, safer facility for our Consulate General in St. Petersburg; and rejecting requests to improve perimeter security at the current, outdated facility in St. Petersburg.

“Today’s actions send a clear message that such behaviour is unacceptable and will have consequences,” Toner said.

Diplomatic expulsions are normally met with reciprocal action. In 2001, the George W Bush administration kicked out 51 Russian diplomats it said were spies. Russia responded by telling 50 US diplomats to leave Russia.

Datboyjerry

Datboyjerry

I am but your herald boy in the art of the pen.. An eccentric Environmental Biologist smouldered in the glorious epiphany of online journalism.If you ever find my article unduly insipid, sue me and i’ll refund you...

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