The Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov in a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson explained that the decision to equalize the number of diplomats of the two countries called “a series of hostile moves of Washington.” “Lavrov stressed that the decision to equalize the number of members of the American and Russian diplomatic missions, as well as close access to two facilities of the U.S. Embassy caused by a series of hostile moves of Washington,” according to the website of the foreign Ministry.
Among the “hostile acts” Lavrov pointed to “illegal sanctions, defamations, mass expulsion of diplomats and the diplomatic expropriation of property”.
Lavrov also stressed that Russia has done everything to improve relations, acted with restraint in response to provocations from the U.S., but time has shown that Washington’s policy “was in the hands of Russophobic forces” that pushed the White house to confrontation.
“We have taken a limited and completely adequate measures are not an answer on the principle of “an eye for an eye” and a necessary step, completely entered into international practice and aimed at protecting legitimate Russian interests”, – stated in the message of the foreign Ministry. The Department indicates that it is done with the expectation that the US will think “about the harmful consequences of its line.”
In addition, in conversation with Tillerson Lavrov confirmed Russia’s readiness “to normalizing bilateral relations with the United States,” but only on the basis of “equality, mutual respect and alignment of balance of interests”.
On Friday the foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that suspended the use of US warehouses on Road street in Moscow and cottages in the Serebryany Bor, as well as proposed until September 1 to bring the number of diplomatic and technical staff in exact correspondence with the number of Russian diplomats and employees in the United States, that is, until 455. At the same time, there are no requirements on the specific names of the expelled diplomats.