Putin orders 755 American diplomats to leave Russia, says 'patience with the U.S. has worn out'
Well, this can't be good.
In an interview with Russian news channel Rossiya-1, President Putin ordered 755 diplomatic mission staff to leave the country, and according to The Washington Post, this is in order to match the 455 Russian diplomatic and technical staff currently in the United States.
It is believed that this mass expulsion is in retaliation to the new legislation passed by the U.S. government which increase the sanctions against Russia, and would effectively stop Trump from removing them.
Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News that: "The president has made it very clear that Russia’s destabilising activities and support for rogue regimes and its activities in Ukraine are unacceptable. The president made it clear that very soon he will sign sanctions from the Congress to reinforce that."
"But at the same time, as we make our intentions clear that we expect Russian behaviour to change, the president and I remain very hopeful that we’ll see very different behaviour from the Russian government."
In response, Putin has said "We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better, had such hope that the situation will somehow change, but, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon."
The Russian government will seize two diplomatic properties in Moscow, and according to The New York Times, the U.S. diplomats must leave the country by 1 September this year.