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Russia threatens USA with countermeasures

Friday, September 1st, 2017 | World News

Moscow is turning to the staff screw. For the US representations in Russia no more people should work than in the Russian branches in the USA.

With new threats of harsh counter-measures in the dispute between Russia and the USA, the Krisenspirale continues to grow. "Of course, we will react hard to these things that harm us and are weakened by the desire to damage our relations with the US," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The reaction should be such as to cushion the own damage.

Closure of consulates and reduction of personnel
The US had asked Russia on Thursday to close the consulate in San Francisco and two diplomatic departments in New York and Washington. Washington responded to the reduction of its own staff in its representations in Russia by hundreds of employees to a maximum of 455.

  The Washington Department of Foreign Affairs said it had fully implemented the decision of the Russian government. "We believe that these measures were unfounded and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries," it said.

By turning the personnel screw, Moscow wanted to make the same number of people work for the US agencies in Russia as in the Russian branches in the USA. Washington also wanted to reach this parity by closing the consulate in San Francisco with the number of representations. In future, both countries will have one embassy and three consulates.

 Lavrov criticizes the calculation of the personnel key
Lavrov criticized the US as having a peculiar understanding of parity. He explained that Russia's UN agency in New York, which strictly speaking had nothing to do with relations with the USA, was included in the calculation of the staff. That is why the US continues to have more employees in the country than Russia.

The minister emphasized that Moscow was ready to compromise. "But as you know, you need two for a tango. So far, it seems to me that our partners always perform an individual break dance."


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