Expelled Russians arrive home as Moscow warns against travel to UK
mission to the UN, as well as closing Russia’s consulate in Seattle.
However, Washington has since said that Russia is free to apply to accredit more diplomats to replace those expelled.
Moscow responded by expelling 60 US diplomats and closing Washington’s consulate in Saint Petersburg on Saturday.
US President Donald Trump has often appeared reluctant to criticize Russian leader Vladimir Putin and has said the two could meet for a summit in the near future.
“Now the consulate is closed but our work to improve Russian-US ties is continuing,” the US Embassy in Moscow said on Twitter.
Moscow also issued further retaliatory measures against Britain on Saturday, demanding that London further slash its diplomatic presence.
“Russia suggested parity. The British side has more than 50 more people,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told AFP.
The call came after 23 British diplomats were expelled from Russia last month.
Moscow also closed a British consulate in Saint Petersburg and suspended all projects of the British Council for the first time in nearly 60 years.
The Russian Embassy in London urged Russians to think carefully before traveling to the UK or sending children to summer school there.
The embassy warned that British authorities including police could single out Russians for additional checks, citing “the anti-Russian policies and an escalation of the British side’s threatening rhetoric.”
Britain acknowledged Saturday that border officials had searched an incoming Aeroflot flight from Moscow in what Russia blasted as an act of “blatant provocation.”
Britain said it conducts routine checks on aircraft to protect the UK from organized crime and people attempting to bring harmful substances into the country.
Earlier this week, Moscow summoned British Ambassador Laurie Bristow, giving London a month to cut the number of diplomatic staff in Russia to the same number Russia has in Britain.
A boy looks through window of a bus alleged to be carrying Russian diplomats and their family members who were ordered to leave the US, as they depart from Vnukovo 2 government airport, outside Moscow Sunday. (AP)