Russia unveils array of countermeasures to US sanctions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Photo: Nikkei Asian Review. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Apr 17, 2021, Xinhua. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday announced a series of retaliatory measures, including expulsions of diplomats and entry bans, in response to the recent “hostile actions” of the United States, Xinhua reported.

Russia will ask 10 U.S. diplomats and five Polish ones to leave the country, the ministry said in a statement.

Russia will limit the use of the U.S. embassy’s short-term assignments through the State Department to ensure the functioning of diplomatic missions, by reducing the issuance of such visas to at most 10 people per year.

Moscow will completely ban U.S. diplomatic missions from hiring citizens of Russia or third countries to administrative and technical posts.

Russia will terminate the activities of U.S. foundations and non-governmental organizations controlled by the State Department or other American government agencies.

“The current extremely tense situation implies an objective need for the ambassadors of both our countries to be in their capitals to analyze the situation and hold consultations,” the statement read.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has barred eight incumbent and former American high-ranking officials, involved in the development and implementation of the anti-Russian course, from entering Russia indefinitely.

The ministry also threatened that it could slash the number of personnel in U.S. diplomatic missions in Russia to 300 from the current cap of 455.

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