After a group of US Senators sent President Biden a letter demanding him to expel 300 Russian diplomats if Moscow refuses to expand the staff in the US embassy in Moscow, Russian foreign ministry official stressed that they obviously want US diplomatic missions in Russia to be closed.
Russian official noted that whoever proposes such a large number of Russian diplomats to be expelled from the US obviously want American diplomatic missions in Russia to be closed, but must understand that the responsibility for it will rest on them.
On top of that, the ministry official ridiculed the senators’ obvious lack of knowledge in international relations, noting that they must’ve counted Russian diplomatic personnel working at the permanent mission to the UN since Russia doesn’t have that many diplomats in Washington.
According to the letter sent by the US senators, it’s unacceptable to have only about 100 American diplomats in Russia and 400 Russian diplomats in the United States.
Therefore, they insist Russia to issue enough visas to approach parity between the number of US diplomats working in Russia and the number of Russian diplomats working in the United States.
After the US has closed consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok this spring, Moscow has become the last place in Russia where an American visa can be obtained under certain conditions.
In April, Moscow imposed a ban on the hiring of Russian citizens and foreign aid by the US diplomatic mission in response to US sanctions in connection with cyberattacks and alleged election interference on top of expelling 10 US diplomats and limiting short-term diplomatic travel.
Following the ban, the US embassy fired 182 employees in the state and has stopped issuing non-diplomatic visas to Russians.
Speaking with Kommersant, the head of the Russian Federation’s Council Committee on International Affairs Grigory Karasin, Russian senators are much more constructive, but they will not tolerate mockery of bilateral relations.