Washington intends to reduce the staff of its diplomatic mission in Russia, as since August Kremlin has prohibited the US from maintaining and hiring employees from Russia or third countries, with the exception of the security service. The State Department press service informed.
"Starting in August, the Russian government is prohibiting the United States from retaining, hiring, or contracting Russian or third-country staff, except our guard force. We are deeply saddened that this action will force us to let go of 182 local employees and dozens of contractors at our diplomatic facilities in Moscow, Vladivostok, and Yekaterinburg. These unfortunate measures will severely impact the US mission to Russia’s operations, potentially including the safety of our personnel as well as our ability to engage in diplomacy with the Russian government. Although we regret the actions of the Russian government forcing a reduction in our services and operations, the United States will follow through on our commitments while continuing to pursue a predictable and stable relationship with Russia," reads the message.
In May the Russian government published a list of unfriendly foreign states, which included the United States and the Czech Republic. The Czech embassy has the right to employ 19 people who are in Russia, while the US diplomatic mission - none.
On April 23, Russian President Putin issued a decree on foreign states committing "unfriendly actions." With this document, he limited the ability of the diplomatic missions of these countries to hire people located in Russia.
On April 15, the United States imposed new sanctions against Russia. They targeted more than 30 Russian organizations and included the expulsion from the United States of at least ten Russian officials, including intelligence officers and diplomats.
As reported before, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell believes that Brussels needs to seek the ways of cooperation with Moscow.