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More U.S. and Russian Responses to Sanctions

April 17 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov met on April 16 with U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan to brief him on Russia’s response to the new U.S. sanctions, according to TASS. TASS reports: “Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained that the U.S. ambassador was advised to leave for Washington for consultations.” And the Foreign Ministry transcript of Lavrov’s joint press conference with the Serbian foreign minister quotes Lavrov as saying: “Today, Yury Ushakov also recommended that Mr. Sullivan travel to his capital and hold serious, detailed consultations.”

This is framed as a suggestion rather than a direct expulsion. Lavrov also announced that Russia will now prohibit all U.S. missions from hiring Russian citizens or citizens from third countries to work at any of its diplomatic missions in Russia, and the Foreign Ministry also states, “Obviously, this very tense situation objectively requires the ambassadors of our countries to be in their respective capitals to analyze developments and hold consultations.” Lavrov said this will address the disparity in the number of staff the U.S. has compared to Russian missions to the U.S.

Sputnik reports a State Department spokesperson as saying, “Today’s announcement by the Russian government was escalatory and regrettable. It is not in our interest to get into an escalatory cycle, but we reserve the right to respond to any Russian retaliation against the United States.” A circular argument?

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