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US says it doesn’t expel Russian diplomats

These proceedings are not punitive but they've been introduced to enable parity between US and Russian bilateral missions, Deputy Spokesperson of the Department of State Jalina Porter noted

WASHINGTON, November 29. /TASS/. The United States insists that the departure of 54 Russian diplomats from the US due in 2022 cannot be interpreted as an expulsion or a punitive measure, Deputy Spokesperson of the Department of State Jalina Porter said on Monday.

"What's happening is not an expulsion. The Russian government has been warned, of course, to replace those departing by the other members of diplomatic corps to the positions. These proceedings are not punitive but they've been introduced to enable parity between US and Russian bilateral missions," she told a briefing.

According to Porter, the United States makes the same demands to Russian diplomats as Russia’s to US diplomats. "Just as the Russian Federation grants our diplomats with the initial three year stay in Russia, the US also informed Russia about a year ago that its diplomats would be subject to the same three year assignments, which is not abnormal," she said. "We continue to discuss this issue with Russia."

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said earlier that 27 Russian diplomats and their families will have to leave the United States on January 30, 2022 and the 27 more diplomats - by June 30, 2020 because their visas are not extended by the US side.