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MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has set up mechanisms to control the reduction of the US diplomatic staff, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Tuesday.
"We have set up mechanisms to monitor and track it [the process of reduction - TASS]," he said. "The Americans are aware what kind of information we demand from them in this regard," the Russian diplomat added.
At the same time, Ryabkov pointed out that Moscow "is not going into details concerning who will have to leave and with whom contracts will be terminated." "The important thing for us is that they cut the necessary number of people to reach the defined level [455 personnel - TASS]," the Russian deputy foreign minister added. "We will look into that when September 1 comes," he said.
"We don’t ask such questions [about who will leave Russia - TASS] as we have already said everything we needed to say," Ryabkov noted.
On July 28, the Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that by September 1, Washington reduce the number of diplomatic and technical stuff at the US embassy in Moscow, as well as at the consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, in order to match the number of Russian staff working in the United States. It means that the total number of staff working in the US diplomatic offices in Russia will decrease by one-third to 455. In case the US takes new unilateral steps to cut Russian diplomatic staff, retaliatory measures will follow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV channel host Vladimir Solovyov that "out of more than a thousand of the employees, diplomats and technical staff, who have been and still are working in Russia, 755 will have to finish their work in Russia."
Besides, from August 1, Russia is suspending the use of a US country house located in the Serebryany Bor area in north-west Moscow and a Moscow storage facility.