A group of 17 American senators, representing both Republicans and Democrats demands that President Joe Biden send off 300 Russian diplomats from the United States. The text of their appeal is on the website of the US Senate Commitee for Foreign Affairs.
"Russia has long counted locally hired Russian staff at U.S. Embassy Moscow as “American diplomats.” U.S. acceptance of this characterization, across multiple administrations, and its incorporation into the calculation of relative diplomatic presences has resulted in there being more than 400 Russian diplomats spread throughout the United States, while the complementary U.S. diplomatic presence in Russia now numbers only about 100 Americans. This disproportionality in diplomatic representation is unacceptable. Accordingly, Russia must issue enough visas to approach parity between the number of American diplomats serving in Russia and the number of Russian diplomats serving in the United States. If such action is not taken, we urge you to begin expelling Russian diplomats, to bring the U.S. diplomatic presence to parity. We believe such a step would be reasonable and reciprocal", reads the statement.
Among the signatures under the document are these of Robert Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (D), Marco Rubio (R), Mark Warner (D), and Jim Risch (R).
In April 2021, Russian president Vladimir Putin issed the decree about foreign states that have been taking "hostile actions". This document puts limits on the authority of diplomatic missions of these countries, specifically the authority to employ the people who stay on the Russian territory. In May, the United States ands the Czech Republic were added to the list. According to the document, Czech embassy was allowed to hire 19 people staying in Russia, while the US embassy didn't have the right to hire anyone at all.