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Russia compiling list of unfriendly countries — Lavrov

The states on the list will be prohibited from hiring Russian citizens to work in their diplomatic missions, according to the top diplomat

MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. Work to compile the list of unfriendly countries, which will be prohibited from hiring Russian citizens to work in their diplomatic missions, will not last long; the list will appear soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.

"The list is being compiled. I would not like to get ahead of events. That will not last long, it will appear soon, and you will learn everything," he said when asked by a TASS correspondent which countries could be added to that list.

"As you remember, the reason for that step was irrational actions by some of our partners in relation to the work of Russia’s diplomatic missions on their territory. We drew attention to the fact that, if someone wants to establish parity, that parity will also apply to hiring Russian individuals and citizens of third countries in our country, since there is no parity whatsoever as regards this aspect. We have no such practice," Lavrov explained.

Russia’s top diplomat recalled the US announcing a three-year limit for Russian diplomats’ stay in the United States in 2019, citing its own practice, which contravened the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. "Due to this, we have long warned them that we would likewise extend our practice to relations between our countries in the activities of diplomatic missions. Our practice practically does not imply hiring any employees from among citizens of those countries where our diplomatic missions are located. That’s why we too have every right to transfer this practice to the rules that regulate the work of the US embassies and consulates in the Russian Federation," he said.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier said that the United States had been added to the list that was being compiled.

On April 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on countering other countries’ hostile moves. He ordered to limit or, if necessary, to prohibit the signing of employment contracts between Russian nationals and diplomatic and consular missions and representative offices of government agencies of countries taking unfriendly steps with regard to Russia. The head of state tasked the government with drawing up the list of unfriendly countries subject to these measures.