Russia retaliates over US sanctions

Russia has retaliated to new US sanctions by telling Washington to cut its diplomatic staff to 455 and barring the use of some properties.

The new US embassy staffing level would be the same as at Russia’s embassy in Washington. The Russian foreign ministry also said it was seizing holiday properties and a warehouse used by US diplomats. The new US sanctions were drawn up in part to punish Russia further for annexing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. They come months after the administration of President Barack Obama ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and expelled 35 Russian diplomats in response to alleged hacking of the US Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election. In a statement on Friday, Russia’s foreign ministry said: “The US is stubbornly taking one crudely anti-Russian step after another, using the utterly fictitious pretext of Russian interference in its internal affairs.” The US expulsion of Russian diplomats “clearly violates the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and generally accepted diplomatic norms”, it added. Source: BBC]]>

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