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Russia reportedly considering symmetrical and asymmetrical retaliation if U.S. moves ahead with new sanctions

Source: Kommersant

Russia’s Foreign Ministry is considering retaliatory measures against the United States in response to the latest sanctions now working their way through the U.S. legislature. Two unnamed sources told the newspaper Kommersant that Moscow might limit the number of American diplomatic staff in Russia to the number of Russian diplomats allowed into the United States. Officials could also seize a U.S. diplomatic complex at Serebryany Bor in Moscow.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry complained recently that Washington has been slow to issue travel permissions to staff meant to replace the 35 diplomats expelled by the Obama administration last December.

According to Kommersant, the Kremlin is also considering several asymmetrical responses to the latest U.S. sanctions. Russia could obstruct future U.S. efforts in the UN Security Council, particularly concerning North Korea; seize the assets and investments of U.S. companies in Russia; cut enriched uranium exports to American nuclear power plants and titanium shipments to U.S. companies like Boeing; and place new restrictions on American juggernauts like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Google, Facebook, Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, and major pharmaceutical manufacturers.

On December 29, 2016, the United States imposed sanctions on Russia for Moscow’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election. Washington expelled 35 Russian diplomats, accusing them of playing a role in Russia’s supposed meddling. Two embassy properties were also closed down and seized by American officials.

In mid-July, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova complained that U.S. officials aren’t issuing visas to the Russian diplomats sent to replace those expelled. “Washington not only hasn’t canceled its decision to expel our staff, but it’s also refusing to grant visas to those who are supposed to go replace them,” Zakharova told reporters, threatening to take retaliatory measures, if the issue wasn't resolved soon.

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