Moscow limits USA diplomatic missions staff to 455


Moscow is retaliating against the new sanctions placed on them by the United States demanding the USA cuts is staff at their embassy to 455 people.

The move comes a day after the US Congress on July 27 adopted a new bill on tougher sanctions against Russian Federation.

In addition, the US Embassy will not be allowed to use all storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow and country houses near in Serebryany Bor from August 1.

The foreign ministry said it would also close down the embassy dacha on the outskirts of Moscow and rescind access to warehouse space.

"We propose to the USA side to bring the number of diplomatic and technical staff working in the United States embassy in Moscow and the consulates exact accordance with the number of Russian diplomats and technical staff in the U.S.", the statement said.

It comes a day after President Vladimir Putin decried what he called "anti-Russian hysteria" in Washington.

Stung by the new threat of American sanctions, Russia's Foreign Ministry says the USA must downsize its diplomatic and technical staff in Moscow and other cities.

It warned it "reserves the right to carry out other measures that could affect the interests of the US".

The US expulsion of Russian diplomats "clearly violates the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and generally accepted diplomatic norms", it added.

The US ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, was summoned to the foreign ministry on Friday morning to be given the news.

Thirty-five Russian diplomats were expelled from the United States in December under sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama in response to Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 US election. The US also expelled 35 Russian diplomats and denied Russian diplomatic staff access to the NY and Maryland compounds.

Russian Federation has complained the bill "showed with all clarity that relations with Russian Federation have fallen hostage to the domestic political struggle in the US". However, Moscow sees the Senate approval of the new round of sanctions as an nearly final decision, according to Peskov.

Russia's Foreign Ministry dismissed the new sanctions as "creating unfair competitive advantages for the USA economy".

There are believed to be now around 1,100 United States diplomats and staff in the country.