MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Russia has launched an effort on creating the list of unfriendly states, which are banned from hiring Russian citizens for work in the diplomatic missions, and the United States is among them, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the Rossiya-1 TV channel.
"As you know, yesterday the decree of President [Vladimir Putin] was published, which contains a whole number of measures on fulfilling the already existing federal laws, under which those states, which are declared unfriendly, cannot hire Russian citizens as staff for their diplomatic and consular missions. <...> What are these unfriendly states? The list is being drawn up now. <...> As we understand, the whole story began with another wave of unfriendly US steps. <...> As you understand and I can confirm this, naturally, the US is on this list," the diplomat said.
"You will find out about the other states as soon as the government’s decree is published and the respective list emerges," she noted.
Zakharova stressed that the president’s decree was a retaliatory measure against other countries’ hostile steps. "We have always highlighted that our foreign policy is absolutely peaceful. <...> But we have also always stressed that all steps, which we consider as unfriendly and hostile will never remain unanswered. <...> That package of measures, which is being taken now, is certainly a retaliatory measure. <...> These aren’t aggressive steps by our country, this is a response and protection of our country from hostile and unfriendly steps by those, who are preoccupied about us, and those who are somehow trying to halt our development: through the containment policy and through isolation attempts," she explained.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday on countermeasures to unfriendly actions of foreign states. Under the document, diplomatic missions, consular institutions and offices of government institutions of foreign countries acting in an unfriendly manner against Russia, Russian nationals or legal entities will face restrictions, or even a complete ban, if necessary, in terms of employing Russian nationals. The government is tasked to define number of individuals that can be employed by foreign missions. ".