The US decision to limit the period of stay of Russian diplomats in the country to three years is not the expulsion of diplomatic workers, Moscow can send them a replacement, RIA Novosti reports, citing the press secretary of the US Embassy in Russia, Jason Rebholz.
“The approach of the United States creates greater parity in the work of our diplomatic missions, as it will ensure the rotation of staff at the same frequency. This will help facilitate the gradual restoration of our diplomatic missions, which is necessary to establish more stable and predictable relations with Russia, ”he said.
On November 27, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said on the air of the Soloviev Live YouTube channel that 27 diplomats and their families would be forced to leave the United States on January 30. A similar number of Russian diplomatic workers will leave the country on June 30 next year.
Deputy State Department spokesman Jalina Porter said earlier that the departure of Russian diplomats from the United States is not an expulsion and punitive measure. She also said that Russia limits the period of stay of American diplomats on its territory to three years, so the US authorities have introduced a similar retaliatory measure.
In response, Antonov said that the statement on the Russian side’s limitation of the period of stay of American diplomats in Russia and the words that the United States did not expel Russian diplomats was a deliberate distortion of facts that had nothing to do with reality. According to him, it was the State Department in December 2020 that unilaterally set a three-year limit on long-term business trips for employees of the Embassy in Washington and the Consulates General of Russia in New York and Houston.
By January 31, 2022, employees of the US Embassy, who have been in Moscow for more than three years, must leave Russia, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on December 1. Then she noted that if the United States does not abandon the three-year restriction and does not compromise, the next American diplomatic workers will be sent to the United States from Russia until July 1, 2022.