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Russia to respond proportionately to travel restrictions on diplomats in US

December 07, 2016, 12:54 UTC+3

The US Congress’s House of Representatives last week voted for a bill that establishes extra restrictions on Russian diplomats in the United States

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MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Russia will make a proportionate response should the United States introduces more travel restrictions on Russian diplomats, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Wednesday.

"If the current US authorities also wish to restrict the freedom of movement of their own representatives in Russia they should bear in mind that in diplomacy all is based on the principle of reciprocity. US diplomats in Russia will be treated accordingly. We will have to retaliate, but each time we say that this is no choice of ours," she stated.

"We are for cooperation and interaction in bilateral relations and in world affairs. Why Washington does such things is anyone’s guess," she added.

The US Congress’s House of Representatives last week voted for a bill on financing US intelligence services in the 2017 fiscal year. The bill establishes extra restrictions on Russian diplomats in the United States.

Zakharova said the measures contained in the bill were aimed at "creating real hindrances to the normal work of Russian diplomats in the United States."

She recalled that most of them were not allowed to travel farther than 40 kilometers away from their diplomatic offices. For all trips outside that area special notifications have to be dispatched to the US Department of State in advance.

"Now the diplomats may be stripped of this opportunity, too," Zakharova said.

Under a bill the US Congress has adopted Russian diplomatic staff may be allowed to make trips no farther than 25 miles (40 kilometers) away from the embassy or the consulate during a calendar quarter only if on the first day of this period or the last day of the previous quarter the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation tells the congressional committees concerned the FBI had registered no violations of these rules by Russian diplomats during the reporting period.

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