U.S., Russia diplomatic row worsens

All the vehicles having diplomatic license plates have left the territory of the U.S. Embassy’s former compound, located in the Serebryany Bor area, the outskirts of Moscow, a Sputnik correspondent reported Tuesday.

The correspondent specified that the last two U.S. embassy employees locked the gates of the summer house before leaving.

Moscow announced on July 28 countermeasures in response to the looming US anti-Russia sanctions bill and expulsion of 35 Russian diplomatic staff from the U.S. and seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States in late 2016.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that Russia was suspending as of Aug. 1 the U.S. Embassy use of all warehouses in Moscow and a compound in the Serebryany Bor park.

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. diplomatic presence would be reduced to 455 people, so as to reflect the number of the remaining Russian diplomatic workers.

In December 2016, Washington adopted sanctions targeting Russia over its alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election, something which Moscow has repeatedly denied.

As part of the restrictions, the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats and banned Russia from access to two diplomatic compounds being used by the Russian Embassy in Washington, as well as Russia’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.

Russian diplomats in the U.S. had less than 24 hours to vacate diplomatic property and 72 hours to leave the United States. (Sputnik/NAN)

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