World Russia may demand U.S. cut diplomatic staff in Russia to 300 or below: RIA

12:00  11 october  2017
12:00  11 october  2017 Source:   reuters.com

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia does not rule out ordering the United States to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia to 300 people or fewer, RIA news agency quoted senior Foreign Ministry official Georgy Borisenko as saying on Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia ’ s Foreign Ministry does not rule out ordering the United States to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia to 300 people or below , the RIA news agency cited Georgy Borisenko, the head of the ministry’ s North America Department, as saying on Wednesday.

US embassy in Moscow. © Dmitry Serebryakov/AFP/Getty Images US embassy in Moscow. Russia's Foreign Ministry does not rule out ordering the United States to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia to 300 people or below, the RIA news agency cited Georgy Borisenko, the head of the ministry's North America Department, as saying on Wednesday.

In July, Moscow ordered the United States to cut the number of its diplomatic and technical staff working in Russia by around 60 percent, to 455, part of a diplomatic row.

The figure of 455 was meant to mirror the total number of Russian diplomats working in the United States, but also included Russian nationals working at the United Nations in New York, Borisenko told the agency.

"The fact that in the summer we took into account the people working for Russia's mission at the UN, this was good will," Borisenko told RIA.

"If they haven't appreciated this, we have the full right to reduce ... the number of U.S. diplomats," he said, saying Moscow could stop taking Russian U.N. staff into account when calculating what parity between the two countries meant.

"In this case, the number of American personnel in Russia should decline to a level of 300 or below."

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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