MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. Twenty-seven Russian diplomats and their family members will be forced out of the United States on January 30, 2022 and an equal number of Russian diplomatic staff will leave the country on June 30, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on Saturday aired by the YouTube channel Soloviov Live.
"Our diplomats [in the United States] are being kicked out. On January 30, a large group of my fellow diplomats - 27 people with their families - are leaving us," the ambassador said.
"On June 30, a similar number will leave from here," he added.
Antonov underlined that the problem of visas for Russian diplomats in the US has not yet been solved, and their families are being intentionally separated.
"We are facing a serious staff shortage. The spouses of a number of our fellow diplomats have had their accreditation taken away. The children are denied visas. I do not understand what this policy of separating the families of Russian diplomats is aimed at," he added.
According to the ambassador, this is happening against the backdrop of Americans’ comments about "how carefully the United States cherishes family traditions."
The Russian ambassador pointed out that the US has not changed its negative attitude towards Russia and continues to regard it as an adversary. Nor has Washington changed its anti-Moscow sanctions policy.
"Almost nothing is changing. The atmosphere here (in the US - TASS) is still poisoned with Russophobia, namely in the media, in Congress, in the administration. And this creates obstacles to building Russian-US relations," Antonov stated.
The Russian ambassador pointed out that American officials try to negotiate only the issues of interest to the US with Russian counterparts, while "only one topic - the ‘aggressive’ policy of the Russian Federation on our western borders has dominated" in recent bilateral contacts.
In response to the anti-Russian sanctions announced by Washington in April and another expulsion of Russian diplomats, Moscow restricted the hiring of citizens of Russia and third countries by US diplomatic missions. Since August 1, the US embassy to Russia has been operating having 120 employees, the lowest number in five years.