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Diplomats’ expulsion should not affect Russian mission to UN — envoy

August 09, 2017, 21:02 UTC+3

Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said mission to the United Nations should be out of the calculation of bilateral missions

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UNITED NATIONS, August 9. /TASS/. Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya has said he does not expect the US to expel diplomats working at the Russian diplomatic mission in New York in response to the decision to cut US diplomatic staff in Moscow.

"No, I’m not expecting this," he told reporters on Wednesday when asked whether he foresees such steps by Washington. "Our mission to the United Nations should be out of the calculation of our bilateral missions, because it is a separate diplomatic entity, which is accredited to the United Nations, not the United States."

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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted in an interview with VGTRK host Vladimir Solovyov on July 30 that a total of 755 US diplomats are to leave Russia. In addition to that, Russia suspended the use of the warehouses and the property in Serebryany Bor in Moscow by the US Embassy as of August 1.

These restrictive measures were imposed by Moscow in response to the closure of the Russian diplomatic compounds last December and the law specifying tougher sanctions against Russia.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Monday that he warned Moscow about Washington’s potential response to Russia’s move to expel US diplomats. According to Tillerson, the US is to announce its tit-for-tat moves by September 1.

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