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Author(s)Pyotr Kozlov
SourceCurrent Digest of the Russian Press, The ,  No.1,  Vol.69, January  01, 2017, page(s):18-19
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Place of PublicationMinneapolis, USA
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Author: Pyotr Kozlov

(By Pyotr Kozlov. Vedomosti, Jan. 9, 2017, p. 2. Complete text:) One of the most massive expulsions of Russian diplomats from the US since the cold war took place in late December: In response to alleged meddling by Moscow in the [US] presidential election campaign, 35 employees of the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Consulate-General in New York were declared personae non gratae. The Russian Foreign Ministry proposed the traditional response of expelling a similar list of 35 Americans, because it is not customary to let "such antics" go unanswered, and "reciprocity is the law of diplomacy and international relations," [Russian Foreign] Minister Sergei Lavrov explained (quoted by TASS). But the Kremlin opted not to respond in kind:

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Moscow will not succumb to a provocation that would harm not only bilateral relations, but also global security, considering the role of Russia and the US, [Russian] President Vladimir Putin explained. Russia reserves the right to expel Americans, but will not sink to the level of irresponsible kitchen diplomacy; steps to restore US-Russian relations will be taken based on the policy pursued by the administration of [US] president [-elect] Donald Trump, he added.

The expulsion of the diplomats will definitely impact the day-to-day work of Russian diplomatic missions in the US; the remaining employees’ workload will markedly increase, former Russian diplomats acknowledge. "These difficulties will last for at least several months. People need to be found for each of the positions, hired and granted visas: That will take a long time, even though the timetable for issuing visas to diplomats has been coordinated with the US," one of the interlocutors says. It is difficult to predict how the replacement process will go; everything depends on the wording of the [US] decision, adds another former diplomat with the rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary: "It might have stipulated ‘without the right for substitutions,’ or ...

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