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Russia Orders U.S. To Cut Diplomatic Staff In Response To Sanctions Bill

Russian police stand guard in front of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (file photo)

The Russian Foreign Ministry says the United States must reduce the size of its diplomatic staff in Russia and will no longer be able to use a U.S. Embassy dacha and storage warehouses in Moscow.

In a statement on July 28, the ministry outlined retaliatory steps after U.S. lawmakers passed a bill that would impose additional sanctions on Russia and sent it to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The ministry said the United States must reduce its diplomatic staff to 455 people by September 1, saying that is the number of Russian diplomats at embassies and consulates in the United States, and would be unable to use the dacha or the warehouses as of August 1.

It also warned the United States it would respond in kind if the United states expels any more Russian diplomats in addition to the 35 who were ejected by former President Barack Obama's administration in December.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the sanctions legislation confirmed what it called the "extreme aggression" of the United States in international affairs.

With reporting by Reuters