In interview to the program «Vesti», Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the staff of the us diplomatic mission in Russia will be reduced by 755 people. Russia will remain 455 employees of American diplomatic missions. This corresponds to the number of employees of the Russian diplomatic missions in America.
Full transcript of the conversation leading VGTRK Vladimir Solovyov Vladimir Putin posted on the website of «Vesti».
On the question of why Russia has taken this step now, the Russian President said: «Because the American side made an unprovoked, which is very important step in the deterioration of Russian-American relations: unlawful restrictions on attempting to influence other countries, including its allies, who are interested in developing and maintaining relations with the Russian Federation. We’ve been expecting, maybe something will change for the better, had such a hope that the situation will somehow change. But, apparently, if she will change, not soon. I’m not talking about all the reasons of domestic nature within the United States. But we must, I felt, to show that we, too, have no answer to leave anything won’t.»
Vladimir Putin also noted that Russia, the volume of trade and economic relations with the United States inferior to the volume of trade relations with, for example, with China and the countries of the European Union. The presence of more than a thousand American diplomats were not justified.
At the same time, Vladimir Putin noted that there are several important areas of cooperation between the US and Russia, including the war on terror. According to him, the establishment of the Syrian southern zone of de-escalation is the result of this collaboration. At the same time, Vladimir Putin noted that the establishment of a zone of de-escalation was not only in the interests of Syria, but also in the interests of Jordan, Israel, and, therefore, the United States. «Israel is one of the main allies of the United States,» — said Vladimir Putin.
The Russian President noted that Russia could limit cooperation with the US in several areas, «which are sensitive for the American side». «But I think this needs to be done. It will harm the development of the international relations. And hurt not only Russian-American relations as such, but we will inflict some damage, — concluded the President of the Russian Federation.