Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Vladimir Solovyov on the TV channel “Russia-1” told why Russia has decided to respond to Washington’s sanctions against American diplomats, why it happened now, and whether additional sanctions in the future. The President also said the number of U.S. diplomats who will be required from September 1 to leave Russia.
According to the head of state, the us “launched an unprovoked, which is very important step in the deterioration of Russian-American relations”. Putin explained that it is “unlawful restrictions, you try to influence other countries, including its allies, who are interested in developing and maintaining relations with the Russian Federation”.
“We’ve been expecting, maybe something will change for the better, had such a hope that the situation will somehow change. But, apparently, if she will change, not soon,” — said Putin. “We should, I felt, to show that we, too, have no answer do leave will not” — he added.
Last Friday Moscow in response to develop Washington’s new anti-Russian sanctions, decided to reduce from September 1, the number of American diplomats in Russia to 455 people, as well as close from 1 August access to the American Embassy dacha in Serebryany Bor.
Putin also called the exact number of American diplomats, which according to this decision, shall be obliged to leave Russia and stressed that it would be “sensitive” to Washington. “Because more than a thousand diplomats and technical staff — worked, are still working in Russia, 755 will have to cease their activities in the Russian Federation. It is sensitive,” said Putin.
Speaking about the possibility of introducing additional restrictive measures, the President stressed that Russia and the United States is “very important spheres of interaction”. Such areas, according to the President, are the limitations of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against illegal migration, cyber security, energy sector.
“And we have, of course, what to say and to limit the scope of activities of our joint that are sensitive to the American side. But I think this needs to be done. It will harm the development of the international relations. And hurt not only Russian-American relations as such, but we will cause some damage,” — said the President.
At the same time, Putin said that if there will come a time when “the damage from the attempts of pressure on Russia will be comparable with those negative consequences that are associated with certain restrictions of our cooperation,” Russia may “consider other answers”. “But I hope that this will not happen. I’m currently against”, — said Putin.