MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. The US Embassy in Russia is assessing the effects of the restrictions applied by the Russian side on the number of employees working in American diplomatic missions across the country, the embassy’s spokesperson Maria Olson told TASS.
"The Russian government has demanded the US Mission to Russia limit total Mission staffing to 455 employees by September 1. This is a regrettable and uncalled for act. We are still assessing the impact of such a limitation and how we will implement it."
On July 28, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Washington should equal the number of its diplomatic and technical staff working in the US Embassy in Moscow and in consulates general in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to the exact number of the Russian diplomats and technical staff working in the US in response to the bill on new ant-Russian sanctions adopted by the US Congress. This means that the total number of staff working in the US diplomatic and consulate entities in Russia will be reduced to 455 people.
In case the American authorities take new unilateral actions to reduce the number of Russian diplomats in the US, Moscow will respond in kind, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.
In an interview with VGTRK TV host Vladimir Solovyev, President Vladimir Putin specified that 755 American diplomats had to leave Russia.
In addition, Russia has suspended the use by the US embassy of all warehouse facilities on Dorozhnaya St, Moscow, and a compound in Silver Forest since August 1. Access to these facilities was closed at 12:00 Moscow time on Tuesday.
Employees of the US Embassy in Moscow have taken all property from their compound in Silver Forest (Serebryany Bor) and from warehouses in Dorozhnaya St, the access to which was restricted today, Maria Olson has confirmed.
"The US Embassy was able to access its recreational facility this morning in Silver Forest. We removed the remaining furniture, kitchen and BBQ items, and the playground set. We also removed all items from the Embassy warehouse."