Russia to expel some US Embassy staff | New

RThe ussia is ordering U.S. Embassy staff who have been in Russia for more than three years to leave by January 31, 2022.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday the move was a response to a similar American policy towards the Russian Embassy in the United States, of which 24 staff members were expelled in August.

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“We regard this requirement as an expulsion and intend to respond accordingly,” Zakharova said in a statement. “This by no means corresponds to diplomatic standards – restricting the length of stay of diplomats in the host country is a clear encroachment by the United States on the sovereign right of the states that sent them.”

Tensions between the United States and Russia have escalated dramatically in recent weeks.

Russia is said to have amassed a large troop presence on its border with Ukraine. Ukrainian officials also claimed to have discovered a Russian plot to orchestrate a coup in Ukraine. Putin has said that if NATO helps Ukraine strengthen its military technology, it will cross a “red line” for Russia.

Secretary of State Antoine Blinken threatened Russia with “serious consequences”, such as economic sanctions, if it continues its aggression against Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia are engaged in a confrontation that dates back to at least 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. The two sides have exchanged blows on several occasions since, and Ukraine has also limited water supply in Crimea, aggravating tensions.

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The United States supported Ukraine during this conflict by sanction Russia and provide Ukraine military supplies.

The Washington Examiner contacted the U.S. Embassy in Russia for comment, but did not receive a response.

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