At a press conference in Amman, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced that Russian authorities are considering conditions for bringing the number of Russian diplomats in the United States and American diplomats in Russia to an equal number, Russian Foreign Ministry reported.
"If they have taken parity as a criterion, we are now considering the conditions in which US overseas institutions in Russia and the Russian [institutions] in the United States work, and we will bring these conditions into full accord with what is being called parity," said Lavrov.
According to the minister, Russia demanded that the United States reduce the number of diplomats to 455 people. When counting, he noted, Russians who work at the UN office and are not related to the embassy in the United States were taken into account.
On Saturday, September 2, the United States restricted Russia's access to the buildings of the trade mission in Washington and its branch in New York. On August 31, the US demanded the closure of the Russian General Consulate in San Francisco. This was done in response to Moscow's decision to reduce the number of employees of the US diplomatic mission. The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, made such a decision because of a new package of sanctions that the US imposed in early August. In addition, after the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the need to reduce the staff of the American embassy, the US Embassy on August 21 reported that because of this, it would limit the issuance of nonimmigrant visas to Russians. Since September 1, the consulate in Moscow has resumed the processing of documents, but US missions in Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg have suspended the issuance of visas for an indefinite period.
Last week, it was reported that Russia intends to sue over the decision of the US to restrict access to diplomatic missions. Putin then stated Russia's right to reduce the number of American diplomats in Russia by additional third.