XIAMEN /China/, September 4. /TASS/. The US is turning the embassy and consulates' property issue inside out by claiming that its actions against the Russian diplomatic mission are a response to Moscow’s measures, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.
"They are now turning everything inside out saying that Russia expelled hundreds of diplomats, though we did not expel anyone, we just said that the Americans should decide for themselves on the number of personnel they will keep at each of their facilities," he noted.
"Naturally, the Americans are trying to take political advantage of the situation in their usual manner, playing games and creating an atmosphere of indignation and frustration, but it is a common thing and one should expect nothing else," the senior Russian diplomat added.
He pointed out that the decision to cut the number of the US diplomatic staff in order to match the number of the Russian personnel working in Russia’s diplomatic facilities in the US "suggested itself on December 30 , after 35 Russian diplomats had been expelled from the United States without any reason, and our two diplomatic facilities had been seized." However, the actual decision was made only after July 27, when the US Congress passed a bill expanding sanctions against Moscow.
"Nevertheless, we showed patience and took this step only after the bill became a law," Ryabkov noted.
"The Americans are used to feeling themselves in full right to do whatever they please in any field, without encountering any response," the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said. "The sanctions bill passed by the Senate on July 27, which triggered our retaliatory measures, was actually an unprecedented hostile action, a step to exert economic pressure on Russia," he said.