During a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was raised the topic of Russia's actions in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States in December 2016. This is reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
"Lavrov stressed that the decision to equalize the number of employees of American and Russian diplomatic missions, as well as to close access to two objects of the US Embassy, was caused by a series of hostile moves of Washington, including illegal sanctions against Russia, libelous accusations against it, mass expulsion of diplomats and expropriation of Russian diplomatic property, "it was reported.
The Russian minister called the US actions "American provocations."
"Recent events showed that US policy was in the hands of russophobic forces pushing Washington towards confrontation. The limited and absolutely adequate measures we have taken are not an answer by the principle of an eye for an eye, but a forced step that fully fits into international practice," noted in the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Lavrov said that the Russian Federation "is still ready to normalize bilateral relations with the US and cooperate on the most important issues on the international agenda." In his opinion, this is possible only on the basis of equality, mutual respect and a balance of interests.