Apr 18, 2021
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Russian Foreign Ministry statement on retaliatory measures in connection with hostile actions by the United States

The latest attack on our country undertaken by the Biden Administration, of course, cannot remain unanswered. Washington, it seems, does not want to put up with the fact that in the new geopolitical realities there is no place for unilateral dictatorship, and the bankrupt scenarios of “containment of Moscow”, on which the United States continues to shortsightedly stake, are fraught only with further degradation of Russian-American relations.

Against this background, calls from across the ocean sound hypocritical to refrain from escalation, and in fact to agree that they are trying to talk to us from a position of strength. They have repeatedly warned and proved in practice that sanctions and other pressures are not only futile, but will also result in disastrous consequences for those who decide on such provocations.

In response to anti-Russian sanctions, the following countermeasures will be introduced in the near future.

  • On the basis of reciprocity, the expulsion of employees of the US diplomatic missions will follow in an amount commensurate with the action carried out by the US authorities against Russian diplomats.

By the way, we noticed how quickly the US Administration “sang along” in Warsaw, demanding the departure of three Russian diplomats from Poland. In turn, five Polish diplomats will be expelled from Russia.

  • The practice of using the US Embassy’s short-term assignments through the State Department to ensure the functioning of diplomatic missions is limited. The issuance of appropriate visas to them will be minimized: up to 10 people. per year on the basis of reciprocity.

  • In strict accordance with the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations and Russian legislation, including the Labor Code, measures will be taken to completely end the practice of hiring by US diplomatic missions administrative and technical workers from among citizens of the Russian Federation and third countries.

  • In connection with the systematic violations by the US diplomatic missions of the rules for traveling through the territory of the Russian Federation, the 1992 bilateral Memorandum of Understanding regarding the “open land” is terminated.

  • It is meant to terminate the activities in the Russian Federation of American foundations and NGOs controlled by the State Department and other American government agencies. This work, which has been carried out for a long time and systematically, will be brought to an end, especially against the background of the fact that the United States does not intend to reduce the scope of its subversive efforts, carried out systematically and relying on an extensive legislative base.

  • It is obvious that the current extremely tense situation implies an objective need for the ambassadors of both our countries to be in their capitals to analyze the situation and hold consultations.

These steps are just a part of the possibilities at our disposal. The threats to introduce new punishments in the statements of the American side, unfortunately, show that Washington does not want to hear us and does not appreciate the restraint that we have shown, despite the high degree of tension that has been purposefully whipped up since the presidency of Barack Obama.

Recall that after the large-scale expulsion of Russian diplomats in December 2016 and the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States, we did not take any retaliatory steps for seven months. Our reaction followed only when, in August 2017, Russia was declared an enemy of America at the legislative level.

In general, in comparison with Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, the American Embassy in Moscow operates in more comfortable conditions, having a numerical advantage and actively using the labor in place of the received Russian citizens. This is a form of disparity that allows the “titular” diplomats to free up time for more focused efforts on one of the main doctrinal directions of Washington’s foreign policy – interference in our internal affairs.

By the way, the names of eight current and former American high-ranking officials and figures involved in the development and implementation of the anti-Russian course will soon be published on the official portal of the Russian Foreign Ministry. They are barred from entering the Russian Federation on an indefinite basis. This is a mirrored response to sanctions against Russian officials that the US blacklisted last month.

Now is the time for the United States to show prudence by abandoning the confrontational course. Otherwise, a set of such painful decisions for the American side will be implemented, such as, for example, an order to reduce US diplomatic missions to 300 people. number of personnel in Russia. This will establish a real parity in bilateral missions abroad, since so far, when determining the American quota of 455 employees, we count 155 people sent to our Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. But this is not a two-way mission at all.

There are other options as well. We, of course, understand the limitations of our ability to mirror the “disadvantage” of the Americans economically. But there is a certain resource in this regard, and it will also be used if Washington chooses to move along the sanctions spiral.

All this is not our choice. We would like to avoid further escalation with the United States. We are ready for a calm and professional dialogue with the American side in the interests of finding ways to normalize bilateral ties. However, the reality is that from Washington we hear one thing, but in practice we see something completely different. There should be no doubt – not a single wave of sanctions will go unpunished.

Of course, we heard President Biden’s statements about his interest in “stable, constructive and predictable” relations with Russia, including the initiative to hold a Russian-American summit. When this proposal was voiced, it was perceived positively and is now being studied in the context of a real-life situation.

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