Putin reacts to US sanctions, says 755 American diplomats ‘must leave’

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Russia retaliated for tough new sanctions from Washinton and has announced that it would expel all the American staff. Russian President, Vladimir Putin said that 755 US diplomats must leave his country.

Russia had earlier demanded that the number of diplomats should be equal in both the nations and thus the US should reduce the number of diplomatic presence in Russia to 455 by September – the same number Moscow has in the US.

On 27 July, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and for its seizure of Crimea in 2014. Iran and North Korea are also targeted in this sanction bill.

In December, the then US president Barack Obama ordered out 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two embassy summer houses that Washington said were being used by Moscow for obtaining the secret information without permission. Now Moscow has ordered the US to slash its number of diplomats in Russia to 455 and froze two embassy compounds – a Moscow summer house and a storage facility in the city – from August 1.