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MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. Access to the diplomatic property in Moscow’s Serebryany Bor for the US diplomatic staff will be blocked at 12:00 Moscow Time on Tuesday, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry informed TASS, commenting on the US Embassy’s statement on the premature access restriction.
"The time of suspending access to the diplomatic property is indicated in the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement," he said.
According to the source, the US Embassy’s attempts to heat up tensions around the previous allegedly restricted access to its diplomatic property are a provocation.
According to media reports, the US Embassy earlier said that access to its diplomatic property in Moscow for embassy employees and technical staff had been restricted for two days - since July 30.
Meanwhile, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene that trucks with diplomatic license plates had arrived at the US Embassy’s compound in Serebryany Bor, and the mission’s belongings are being loaded up on the trucks for removal.
Last week, the US Congress approved a bill specifying tougher unilateral American sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. A total of 98 Senators voted for the document and two against it. Members of the US House Representatives earlier overwhelmingly voted for the bill titled "Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act." Now the legislation will be submitted to US President Donald Trump for his potential stamp of approval. The White House reported that Trump is likely to sign it into law.
On July 28, the Russian Foreign Ministry proposed to cut the number of diplomatic and technical staff working in the US Embassy to Moscow and the Consulates General in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to the exact number of Russian diplomats and technical staff members working in the US before September 1. That means that the total number of the staff in US diplomatic and consular establishments will be reduced to 455 people.
In the event of new unilateral steps by the US authorities to reduce the number of Russian diplomats in the US, a tit-for-tat response will follow, the ministry warned.
In addition to that, Russia is suspending the use of the warehouses and the property in Serebryany Bor in Moscow by the US Embassy as of August 1.