Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu during the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday, July 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

The Latest: US says cuts to staff in Russia 'uncalled for'

July 30, 2017 - 7:20 pm

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Russian President Vladimir Putin's call for the U.S. to cut its diplomatic staff: (all times local):

2 a.m.

The U.S. State Department is calling Russia's decision to cut hundreds from its diplomatic staff in Russia "a regrettable and uncalled for act."

On Friday, Russian's Foreign Ministry ordered a reduction by Sept. 1 in the number of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia. The order came as a response to new sanctions approved by the U.S. Congress and sent to U.S. President Donald Trump to be signed into law.

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. would have to cut its embassy and consulate staff in Russia by 755. He did not explain how that figure was determined.

Putin said more than 1,000 people are currently employed at the Moscow embassy and three U.S. consulates in Russia. They include both Americans and Russians hired to work in the diplomatic offices.


8:06 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States will have to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 under new sanctions from Moscow.

Russian's Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered a reduction by Sept. 1 in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia. It said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy to reduce the number of embassy and consular employees in the country to 455 in response to the U.S. Congress' approval of a new package of sanctions.

It was not clear then how many reassignments that would mean from the Moscow embassy and the three U.S. consulates in Russia.

Putin said in an interview televised on state television on Sunday that he ordered the move because he "thought it was the time to show that we're not going to leave that without an answer."

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