Staff members at diplomatic missions across Russia will be facing the brunt of the U.S. sanctions that have now been announced. The Russian President has officially announced that the number of U.S. staff will be drastically cut down in the coming days. A good percentage of the diplomatic staff will be returning home following the developments.
755 employees to come home
It is believed that there are about 1,200 such employees working at the U.S. diplomatic missions across Russia and about 755 of them will be winding up soon, thanks to the developments. Both technical workers and diplomats will be making up this number, it is believed. As of now, the number of Russian diplomats working on the American soil stands at around 455, and President Putin aims to bring the number of the U.S. employees on Russian soil to round about the same number. These staff cuts will be implemented by September 1st, says the Russian Foreign Ministry office. However, until now, there has been no official confirmation from the U.S. about the number of American citizens working in Russia in such roles.
Take-over of two facilities
The reaction to the new sanctions imposed against Russia is not limited to American citizens employed in diplomatic roles, it also extends to two diplomatic properties. Official sources have confirmed that the government would take over a storage facility in Moscow and a country house on August 1st.
The sanctions bill
President Trump's friendly interactions with his Russian counterpart may have led to believe that nothing would be done to impair the friendly relations between the two countries, but the passing of the sanctions bill in the Senate has given life to this assumption. The sanctions bill was passed by a vote of 98-2, and a key point to be noted here is that Congress now has the power to prevent Trump from softening the sanctions imposed on Russia. With the sanctions bill now looking to be in order, there is every reason to believe that ex-President Obama's move to penalize Russia for its interference in the U.S. Presidential elections will soon materialize. 35 Russian diplomats had been expelled and many Russian compounds had been shut down in the U.S., mainly in New York and Maryland. Now, Russia seems all set to return the favor, so to speak, with its officials announcing that similar actions will be taken in the coming days against the U.S. diplomatic officials.