Today, July 31st, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country was retaliating over the financial sanctions the U.S. recently imposed.
He has ordered the United States to cut staff at its diplomatic mission by 755 people, reducing the number to 455, which is about equal to the number of Russian diplomats currently in the United States.
Those employees, including diplomats and technical workers, would have to stop working by September 1st.
The Russian Foreign Ministry will also seize two diplomatic properties, a Moscow storage facility and a country house outside the capital starting in August.
Last week, U.S. Congress passed a bill imposing new sanctions over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, as well as their military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. President Trump has indicated that he will sign the sanctions bill into law.
The bill, which passed on a vote of 98-2 last Thursday, would also give Congress new power to stop Trump from easing sanction against Moscow.
Congress is still investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia did intervene to help Trump win.
Russia is now encouraging Trump to back up one of his campaign promises to improve relations between the U.S. and Russia.