Russia to expel some US Embassy staff
R ussia is ordering U.S. Embassy staff members who have been in Russia for over three years to leave by Jan. 31, 2022.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday that the move is a response to a similar U.S. policy toward the Russian Embassy in the United States in which 24 staff members were ordered out in August.
"We regard this requirement as expulsion & intend to respond accordingly," Zakharova said in a statement. "This doesn't fit in any way diplomatic norms — restricting the term of diplomats' stay in the host country is an overt encroachment by the United States on the sovereign right of the states that have dispatched them."
Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have escalated drastically in recent weeks.
Russia has reportedly amassed a large troop presence on its border with Ukraine. Ukrainian officials also claimed to have discovered a plot from Russia to orchestrate a coup within Ukraine. Putin said that if NATO helped Ukraine boost its military technology, it would be crossing a "red line" for Russia.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has threatened Russia with "serious consequences," such as economic sanctions, if it continues its aggression toward Ukraine.
Ukraine and Russia have been engaged in a confrontation that dates back to at least 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea . The two sides have exchanged blows many times since, and Ukraine also limited the water supply to Crimea, escalating tensions.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Russia for comment but did not receive a response.
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