Russia Kicks 755 US Diplomats Out, Seizes US Properties
We knew this was coming…Vladimir Putin kicked out 755 US Diplomats, leaving it up to the US which ones would have to leave. They also seized two US properties in Russia. They did it just prior to Trump receiving the sanctions bill on his desk.
Obama’s last year in office was a lovely exercise in trying to make trouble for the next President. He seized two Russian properties in Maryland and New York, and expelled 35 of their diplomats. Russia held their response until after Trump was in office to see what he would do.
President Trump stated he will sign the sanctions bill passed by Congress. Russia’s response to the passage was totally expected: they have expelled 755 diplomats and seized two US properties. It will bring the total number of American diplomats in Russia down to 455 by September 1.
It’s the exact same number of diplomats as Russia has in the United States.
“Any new unilateral actions by the U.S. authorities to reduce the number of our diplomats in the United States will be met with a mirror response…Such blackmail, aimed at limiting the interaction of foreign partners with Russia, carries a threat to many countries and international businesses.” Russian Foreign Ministry statement
The Russian action affects the US Embassy in Moscow, and the consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok. They blocked the use of a storage facility in Moscow, and a house outside of Moscow by August 1.
Congress passed the new sanctions bill, which literally placed the President in a box. It effectively hamstrings his ability to remove the sanctions, requiring Congressional approval to do so. If he vetoed it, the “Russia collusion” fake news would have gone exponentially wild. If he does sign it as he promised two days ago, the left will find something else to whine about.
The bill not only places sanctions against Russia, but North Korea and Iran as well. There were enough bipartisan votes to easily override a Presidential veto.
Putin said that the sanctions were a result of “anti-Russian hysteria” in the United States, they are “regrettable and uncalled for”… that they were “boorish behavior.” They may not be uncalled for, but they are definitely part of that anti-Russia hysteria.