Russia expelled 10 US diplomats, threatening a `painful` response
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Russia expelled 10 US diplomats, threatening a `painful` response

(Dan Tri) – Russia has taken a series of retaliatory measures against the US after Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow amid escalating tensions.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (Photo: Sputnik).

At a press conference on April 16, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that Moscow would expel 10 US diplomats in response to Washington’s previous expulsion of 10 Russian officials.

According to Mr. Lavrov, the US currently maintains 450 diplomatic staff in Russia and Russia has 350 staff in the US, so the US side will have to `adjust the number of staff in Russia to match the number of Russians in the US`.

Russia also banned eight other high-ranking US officials, including current and former, from entering Russia for contributing to `anti-Russian` activities.

Those placed on the banned list by Russia include Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, US Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

Others facing entry bans are Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal, Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice, former US National Security Advisor John Bolton, and former Bureau Director

In addition to the expulsion order and entry ban, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the country would end the activities in Russia of US foundations and non-governmental organizations that Moscow believes interfere in Russia’s internal affairs.

Foreign Minister Lavrov also warned that Russia would take `painful measures` against US businesses, but took no action at this time.

One day before Russia announced sanctions, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order sanctioning more than 30 Russian individuals and organizations for allegedly interfering in the 2020 US presidential election and being related to

In addition to expelling 10 Russian diplomats, the US also put a number of Russian companies on the `black list` and banned US banks from buying bonds from the Russian Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Russian national wealth fund.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called US sanctions unacceptable, even if the US still leaves the door open for dialogue with Russia.

`President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that we are ready to start dialogue if our American counterparts are willing to do so. In this sense, perhaps it is positive that the two leaders’ views coincide.

Before the two countries `tit for tat` with each other, the US government left the door open for a meeting between President Biden and Putin in Europe this summer.

Just before Mr. Biden announced US sanctions against Russia, Mr. Peskov said that any proposed summit was not possible, at least in the short term.

Russia expelled five Polish diplomats

In a statement on April 16, the Russian Foreign Ministry also said that the country would expel five Polish diplomats in response to Warsaw’s previous similar move.

`We note that Warsaw quickly followed the US administration’s lead, asking 3 Russian diplomats to leave Poland. In turn, 5 Polish diplomats will be expelled from Russia,` the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Previously, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on April 15 that the country had summoned Russian Ambassador to Warsaw Sergey Andreyev and announced the expulsion of three Russian diplomats for `violating diplomatic regulations and carrying out illegal activities`.

Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country `expressed support for US decisions related to US policy towards Russia`.

Poland’s decision is the latest move to show the support of America’s partner countries and allies in `responding to Russia’s destabilizing activities`.

The leaders of the three countries called on Russia to withdraw its troops near the Ukrainian border

Video suspects Russia sent more tanks close to the Ukrainian border

During the talks on April 16, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed `the security situation on the Russia-Ukraine border and eastern Ukraine`.

The leaders `shared concerns about Russia’s reinforcement of forces` on the border with Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula, and called on Russia to withdraw its troops to `cool down tensions`.

Russia is said to have deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and many weapons to the area bordering Ukraine in recent days as fighting between government troops and separatist forces in the East escalated.

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