MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. The last car left the territory of the US embassy’s country house in the Moscow area of Serebryany Bor around 11:30 a.m., the US personnel locked the gates behind them, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene.
The access to the country house for the US personnel was suspended at 12:00 p.m. Moscow time (09:00 GMT).
Several trucks carrying furniture and some boxes left the country house earlier in the day.
According to the TASS correspondent, there are no activities going on on the country house’s territory. Reporters remain in front of the gates but some of them have already left.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier that the US embassy’s personnel should leave the country house by 12:00 p.m., otherwise new problems could emerge.
On August 1, Russia suspended the US embassy’s use of the Serebryany Bor country house and a Moscow storage facility as a response to the bill passed by the US Congress, which imposes new sanctions on Russia.
Besides, 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."