Maria Zakharova, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, published on July 28 a message on her Facebook account in which she reviews the disastrous way in which the US media has treated the Kremlin’s decision to reduce the number Of American diplomats working in Russia in reaction to the new anti-Russian sanctions voted by the US Congress .
They are repeating their sanctions against Russia but they are unable to take the trouble to count their own diplomats and officials working in Russia. Their analysis is thus biased at its base
“I was literally assaulted by the American media who wanted to know the exact numbers of US personnel working in Russia. I answered them logically that they should ask this question directly to the Washington authorities. To this, I was told that the Americans remained “mouth sewn”. […] It proves that the American media system is completely lobotomized … For several months they have been repeating their sanctions against Russia but they are unable to take the trouble to count their own diplomats And civil servants working in Russia. Their analysis is thus biased at its base, “she writes.
Maria Zakharova also explained that the US media had repeatedly regarded Moscow’s decision as particularly “severe.” Faced with these accusations, the spokesman for Russian diplomacy wished to recall that Moscow had never only “responded” to measures voted by the American parliamentarians.
“Russia has never committed any action aimed at deteriorating bilateral relations with the United States. We have, in the worst case, only responded. And then again, we did it with courtesy and sadly, in the hope of seeing our [American] partners find the reason, “she added.
On 28 July the Russian Foreign Ministry reacted to US sanctions against Russia, voted by the House of Representatives on 25 July and then by the Senate two days later, announcing in a press release the reduction in the number of US diplomatic personnel in the country. This number will be increased to 455 on 1 September 2017. Moreover, the use of a residence on the outskirts of the Russian capital and warehouses by the US Embassy will be suspended.
“The new [US] law aims, through political tools, to create unfair competitive advantages [advantageous to] the United States in the world economy,” Russian diplomacy said in its statement.
According to the latter, US sanctions also aim “to limit cooperation between foreign partners and Russia”, which in Moscow’s eyes is “a threat to many countries and to international relations”.
John Tefft, the US ambassador to Russia, reacted to his counter-measures by expressing his “deep disappointment” and his “protest”.