On Friday, Russia's Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that, in light of the U.S. Congress passing new sanctions on them, they would be taking their own actions against the American diplomatic presence in the country:
- The number of American diplomats and other consular employees will be cut down to 455, which Russia claims is a 1:1 ratio with the Russian presence in the U.S. This goes into effect on September 1.
- Starting August 1, the U.S. Embassy will lose access to “the storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow and the country house in Serebryany Bor.”
“This measure is further proof of the United States’ extremely hostile foreign policy,” reads the statement. “Hiding behind its sense of superiority, the United States arrogantly ignores the stances and interests of other countries.”
The statement also takes the point of view that Russia shows restraint “despite Washington’s constant outbursts ... and have not responded to express provocations until now.” It adds that “the latest events confirm that certain circles in the US are fixated on Russophobia and open confrontation with our country.”
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin bemoaned the state of relations between the two countries. “It is a great pity that Russian-American relations are being sacrificed to this domestic, internal American issue,” he said at a news conference in Savonlinna, Finland. “What we are seeing is merely anti-Russia hysteria.”