Agence France-Presse is reporting Russian president Putin has ordered hundreds of U.S. diplomats to leave the country.
#BREAKING 755 US diplomats must leave Russia, President Putin announces
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) July 30, 2017
“755 US diplomats must leave Russia, President Putin announces, ” tweeted AFP.
The hardline measure is likely in response to Congress voting to slap Russia with new sanctions.
NBC News reports:
The Senate overwhelmingly voted Thursday to impose new sanctions on Russia, joining the House in approving the measure by veto-proof margins.
The vote on the bill — which would also add sanctions against North Korea and Iran — was 98-2, with only Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., dissenting. The House passed the measure on Tuesday by 419-3.
The bill targets Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and Syria, citing corruption, human rights abuses and weapons sales.
The bill next goes to the White House, which hasn’t said whether President Donald Trump is considering vetoing it. The measure also includes a provision that would limit Trump’s authority to lift the sanctions unilaterally.
White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci left open the possibility of a veto on Thursday, saying in an interview on CNN’s “New Day”: “He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians.”
But Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said: “They can count. They understand math. I just can’t imagine they’re considering doing so.
Following the news Congress would sanction Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned the U.S. would face diplomatic consequences for its actions.
New York Daily News:
Russia is ready to strike back at the U.S. government for a bill imposing sanctions over the 2016 election interference, a Kremlin official warned Sunday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the U.S. will face a “long, long overdue” retaliation after Congress approved the bill last week.
“If the U.S. side decides to move further towards further deterioration, we will answer,” he said in an ominous interview with ABC News’ “This Week.”
“We will respond in kind. We will mirror this. We will retaliate.”
Russia already dished out revenge on Friday by expelling some American diplomats and closing down two U.S. facilities.
When asked if the Kremlin had any other plans for punishment — such as sanctions or trade bans — Ryabkov wouldn’t say anything is off limits.
“We have a very rich toolbox at our disposal,” he said.