Russia will ask 10 U.S. diplomats to leave the country in retaliation for Washington’s expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats over alleged election interference and other malign actions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday (April 16).
The U.S. government on Thursday (April 15) also blacklisted Russian companies and barred U.S. banks from buying sovereign bonds from Russia’s central bank, national wealth fund and Finance Ministry.
Lavrov, speaking at a news conference with his Serbian counterpart, said Moscow was also considering possible “painful” measures aimed at U.S. business in Russia.
Moscow would also end the activity in Russia of U.S. funds and NGOs that interfere in the country’s internal affairs, he said.
Russia-U.S. ties slumped to a new post-Cold War low last month after Biden said he thought Putin was a “killer” and Moscow recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations. The envoy has still not returned almost a month later.
The Russian foreign ministry said John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, should return home for consultations too.
Washington said its own sanctions were pay back for Russia interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged malign actions.
Russia denies all the U.S. allegations.
(Production: Anastasia Adasheva)