Moscow (GPA) – Triggered by a new round of sanctions, Russia expelling US diplomats comes as the predictable – though long delayed – response to one of Obama’s last geopolitical moves.
Following Congress’ passage of new sanctions targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea, Russia has responded by issuing an order to the US, and several other countries, to remove 755 diplomatic workers by the first day of September. The US will have to lower the number of staff down to a total of 455; which is the same number of their Russian counterparts stationed in the US.
While US President Donald Trump has yet to sign the sanctions bill it’s unlikely he would even think of vetoing the action. This is partly due to the bill’s inclusion of North Korea and Iran but primarily it’s due to the fact that it’d be almost impossible in the current US political climate. Even if Trump did veto the bill, there would easily be a Congressional majority large enough to override the President.
It has been public knowledge that some diplomats were going to be expelled following Thursday’s vote in the US but there was no estimate of how many issued until this weekend. Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out the full extent of the plans to expel the US workers on TV over the weekend.
Putin announced the move on Russian television’s Channel One, saying “Over 1,000 employees — diplomats and technical workers — worked and continue to work today in Russia; 755 will have to stop this activity.” Putin also expressed that the expulsion of these diplomats was done reluctantly after months of holding out in the hope that relations would improve with the US under the Trump regime.
The hope for better relations doesn’t seem like it will happen in the near future, according to Putin. He said as much in his interview when he told Channel 1, “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.”
It seems that Moscow will also be seizing two US facilities, similar to the action that was taken in Obama’s final days in December of last year. This part of the new Russian sanctions on the US was announced by the government on Thursday. This move was announced by Russia’s Foreign Ministry who issued a statement that said “The Russian side is suspending as of August 1 the use by the U.S. embassy in Russia of all warehouses on the Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow and the dacha compound in Serebryanyy Bor”.
This latest development is just another loss to the world in terms of work on increased global cooperation. This new round of sanctions is a sad continuation of more harmful policy by the US, and although Washington won’t be hurt by these actions, other countries will be.
This list of other countries who will be hurt by US sanctions also includes enough European Union members that the block of nations has finally begun to complain that their concerns are never considered. With recent US hostility towards Europe, China, the Middle East and the world in general, this latest set of developments between the US and Russia is fairly high on the growing list of recent mistakes by the Trump regime.