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Moscow has no details on number of US diplomats leaving Russia

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that by September 1, Washington reduce the number of staff at the US embassy in Moscow to 455

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has no figures on the number of employees of US diplomatic missions dismissed or leaving Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"As for the number and the composition of those dismissed and those being sent home, this issue should, of course, be addressed to the Americans," the spokeswoman noted.

"We do not know, perhaps regrettably for you, even an official answer to the question about the number in principle (of employees) of US foreign missions on the territory of the Russian Federation," the diplomat said.

Following the US Congress’ vote to slap new sanctions on Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that by September 1, Washington reduce the number of diplomatic and technical staff 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 American diplomatic missions in Russia will decrease by one-third to 455. If the US takes new unilateral steps to cut Russian diplomatic staff, retaliatory measures will follow, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned.

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 wrap up their work in Russia."

Besides, Russia suspended the US Embassy’s use of its warehouse facilities located in the southern district of Moscow, and at the Serebryany Bor (Silver Forest) dacha on August 1.