Putin says US will have to shed 755 from diplomatic staff

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a question during a meeting with the students while visiting the Sirius Educational Centre for Gifted Children in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, July 21, 2017. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States will have to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 under new sanctions from Moscow.

Russian’s Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered a reduction by Sept. 1 in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia. It said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy to reduce the number of embassy and consular employees in the country to 455 in response to the U.S. Senate’s approval of a new package of sanctions.

It was not clear then how many reassignments that would mean from the Moscow embassy and the three U.S. consulates in Russia.

Putin said in an interview televised on state television on Sunday that he ordered the move because he “thought it was the time to show that we’re not going to leave that without an answer.”

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