Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked 755 US diplomats to leave the country under new sanctions. Putin's statement follows US Senate's approval of a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
In an interview to a Russian TV channel, Putin said, more than one thousand people are working at the US embassy and consulates in Russia. He said, 755 of them must stop their activities and return.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry had demanded that Washington cut its diplomatic presence in Russia by September to 455; the same number Moscow has in the US. The Russian President also said that an upturn in Moscow's relations with Washington could not be expected any time soon.