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Russia Expels Some U.S. Diplomats in Latest Tit-for-Tat Action

Russia has ordered US Embassy staff in Moscow to evacuate the country by January 31. The diplomats have been in Moscow for over three years. The more marks an increase in tensions between Moscow and Washington and comes just days before diplomats were set to hold talks addressing the worsening relationship between the two countries. On Wednesday, foreign ministry officials stated that the decision to remove the US Embassy staff is was in retaliation for Washington’s expulsion of more than 50 Russian diplomats by June 30. However, the date was in line with previously imposed term limits, according to the US. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that they tried to reason with US officials, however, they were unable to come to a middle-ground conclusion and were forced to resort to the expulsion.

The State Department confirmed that the Russian Federation grants US diplomats an initial three-year stay in Russia. In 2020, the US informed Russia that it would enforce the same three-year assignments. According to the department, the date simply meant that the US diplomats’ three-year terms are up. Ms. Zakharova stated that the US was violating the sovereign rights of states to determine how long its diplomats would remain in a host country, announcing that a further group of US diplomats could be forced out by July 1 if no compromise is found.

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