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Russia to reduce US diplomatic staff, block access to American embassy's property

Baku, July 28, AZERTAC

In response to the fresh round of anti-Russian sanctions, Moscow will reduce the number of US diplomats in Russia to 455 people and suspend the use of warehouses in the southern section of the capital and the property in Serebryany Bor by the US Embassy in Moscow as of August 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday, according to TASS.

On July 27, the US Congress passed a new bill specifying tougher sanctions against Russia.

Despite Washington's invectives, Moscow "has acted responsibly showing restraint and has not responded to obvious provocations," the ministry noted. "However, recent events indicate that Russophobia and the policy aimed at open confrontation with our country have reigned supreme in some circles in the US," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

In light of this, Moscow has proposed to cut the number of diplomatic and technical staff working in the US Embassy to Moscow and the Consulates General in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to the exact number of Russian diplomats and technical staff members working in the US before September 1. "That means that the total number of the staff engaged in US diplomatic and consular establishments will be reduced to 455 people," the Russian Foreign Ministry explained.

"In the event of new unilateral steps by the US authorities to reduce the number of our diplomats in the US, a tit-for-tat response will follow," the ministry's statement said.

In addition to that, Russia suspends the use of all the warehouses and the property in Serebryany Bor in Moscow by the US Embassy as of August 1.

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