Russia urged the United States Monday to show “political will” to mend ties even as it ordered sweeping cuts of U.S. embassy personnel unseen since Cold War times.
MOSCOW — Russia urged the United States Monday to show “political will” to mend ties even as it ordered sweeping cuts of U.S. embassy personnel unseen since Cold War times.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said it will take time for the U.S. to recover from what he called “political schizophrenia,” but added that Russia remains interested in constructive cooperation with the U.S.
“We are interested in a steady development of our ties and are sorry to note that we are still far from that,” he said.
Peskov’s statement followed Sunday’s televised comments by Putin, who said the U.S. would have to cut 755 of its embassy and consulate staff in Russia, a massive reduction he described as a response to new U.S. sanctions.
The Russian Foreign Ministry had previously said that the U.S. should cut its embassy and consular employees to 455, the number that Russia has in the United States. Along with the caps on embassy personnel announced Friday, it also declared the closure of a U.S. recreational retreat on the outskirts of Moscow and warehouse facilities.
Moscow’s action is the long-expected tit-for-tat response to former U.S. President Barack Obama’s move to expel 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian recreational retreats in the U.S. over reports of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Putin had refrained from an immediate quid-pro-quo until now in the hope that President Donald…
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