Russia is ready to expel ten American diplomats and limit their staff, while also considering ‘painful’ measures aimed at US businesses making money in the Russian Federation.
Ten US diplomats will have to leave Russia in response to Washington’s expulsion of Russian diplomats, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, adding that Moscow is looking at other sanction options if unfriendly steps continue.
Lavrov announced the news at a press conference, adding that Moscow would ban US funds and NGO’s from interfering in Russia’s internal affairs.
Lavrov added that, with the US regime currently employing 450 diplomatic staff in Russia, and Russia employing 350 in the USA, the Americans will be asked to bring the number of employees in Russia in line with the number of Russians in the USA, should relations between the two countries sour further.
A day before Lavrov’s announcement, US President Joe Biden signed a decree sanctioning more than 30 Russian individuals and organizations for allegedly interfering in the 2020 presidential election and for supposed involvement in last year’s SolarWinds cyber-espionage case.
Russia vehemently denies both allegations. Biden also ordered ten Russian diplomats to leave the US, and banned American companies from directly buying shares in Russia’s national debt.
Prior to the tit-for-tat exchange, the Biden administration touted a potential meeting between Biden and Putin in Europe this summer.
While the sanctions and expulsions have apparently wiped that summit from the calendar, Biden held a press conference, in which he called for “dialogue and diplomatic process” with Russia, and defended his sanctions order as mildly “proportionate.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Politics News 2021.