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Trump to sign Russian Federation sanctions, Moscow retaliates

Trump to sign Russian Federation sanctions, Moscow retaliates”

He added that he hoped potential future U.S. -Russia cooperation would make the sanctions unnecessary at some point.

The United States will be forced to cut hundreds of its embassy staff in Russian Federation, the Interfax news agency quoted a source as saying, after Moscow retaliated on Friday for what it said were proposed illegal USA sanctions against it. The legislation specifies that President Trump can't ease the sanctions without congressional approval.

Moscow's retaliation, announced by the Foreign Ministry on Friday, had echoes of the Cold War.

The move comes the day after the U.S. Congress gave bilateral approval to a new slate of sanctions on Russian Federation over its interference in the 2016 election.

The ministry said the number was being cut to 455 diplomats. U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Maria Olson could not immediately say how many people had to leave to meet Russia's new requirements.

Olson said Ambassador John Tefft "expressed his strong disappointment and protest" with the move and passed the Russian government's notification to Washington for review.

Russian Federation could look at imposing economic counter-sanctions against the United States, the former official said, saying he thought that retaliation in Ukraine or Syria was less likely because it was more likely to lead to a USA counter response.

It added that allegations of meddling with the United States election were "totally fabricated" and said "relations with Russian Federation have obviously become hostage to domestic political battles" in America.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking ahead of the Senate vote, accused USA lawmakers of 'insolence' and promised retaliation if the sanctions become law", as NPR's Scott Neuman reported Thursday.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia's energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow's benefit.

Russia's Foreign Ministry dismissed the new sanctions as "creating unfair competitive advantages for the USA economy".

"This kind of blackmail aimed at restricting the cooperation between Russian Federation and other nations is a threat for many countries and global businesses", the statement said.

More retaliation could come: The ministry added that it will mirror any further cuts to its staff in America.

The move by the Kremlin comes months after the Barack Obama administration ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and expelled 35 Russian diplomats in response to alleged hacking of the US Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign.

An attempt by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to portray recently passed Russian sanctions legislation as a sign Americans want Russia to improve relations with the USA has been derided by Moscow.



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