He ad­mits that such steps could harm Rus­sian in­ter­ests as well

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

MOS­COW — Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin said the United States would have to cut its diplo­matic staff in Rus­sia by 755 peo­ple and that Mos­cow could con­sider ad­di­tional mea­sures against Wash­ing­ton as a re­sponse to new US sanc­tions ap­proved by Congress.

“The per­son­nel of the US diplo­matic mis­sions in Rus­sia will be cut by 755 peo­ple and will now equal the num­ber of the Rus­sian diplo­matic per­son­nel in the United States, 455 peo­ple on each side,” Putin said.

The new US sanc­tions were partly a re­sponse to con­clu­sions by US in­tel­li­gence agen­cies that Rus­sia al­legedly med­dled in the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion last year.

De­nounc­ing the lat­est “un­law­ful” move by Wash­ing­ton to tighten sanc­tions against Rus­sia, Putin said it is time for Mos­cow to show that “we will not leave any­thing unan­swered”. “We cer­tainly have some­thing to re­spond with and re­strict those ar­eas of joint co­op­er­a­tion that will be painful for the Amer­i­can side, but I don’t think we need to do it,” he said, adding that such steps could also harm Rus­sian

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