Russia’s foreign ministry has said that a congressional resolution to expel 300 Russian diplomats from the United States would lead to the closure of US diplomatic facilities in Russia.
US Democratic and Republican senators on Tuesday urged President Joe Biden to expel Russian diplomats if Moscow does not issue more visas to Americans to represent Washington in Russia.
“Those who are proposing such a move are apparently pushing for the closure of US foreign institutions in Russia,” the Interfax news agency reported.
“They should understand that they are to blame for this,” the ministry said late Tuesday.
It said Moscow does not have as many diplomats as Washington does and the proposal appears to include diplomatic staff in Russia’s mission to the United Nations.
The US resolution by the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees will mark an escalation in long-running tensions between Moscow and Washington over the number of diplomats in each other’s countries.
The State Department said Russia banned the US embassy in Moscow in August from retaining, hiring or contracting Russian or third-country employees, forcing the mission to lay off 182 employees and dozens of contractors.
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