(BI) Moscow retaliated against new US sanctions over the weekend by demanding that 755 diplomatic workers, many of them American,be cut from the US Embassy in Moscow and from US diplomatic missions in St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, and Vladivostok.
The reprisal was far from surprising. President Barack Obama issued new sanctions in December, and Congress had been debating the legislation for months before recently passing it, leaving Russian President Vladimir Putin ample time to contemplate a response. […]
– – –
"Even if Trump is inclined to take steps the Russians would welcome, both houses of Congress have now indicated overwhelmingly that they don't trust Trump in dealing with Russia and are going to impose major limits on his leeway for action," said Mark Kramer, the program director for the Project on Cold War Studies at Harvard's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Affairs.
– – –
Kramer, of Harvard, said these kinds of diplomatic cuts "are not necessarily a sign of sharp spiral downward," pointing for comparison to a similar episode between the US and the Soviet Union in 1986.
"In 1986, the United States and the Soviet Union expelled large numbers of personnel from each other's diplomatic facilities, yet this was followed over the next few years by a fundamental improvement of relations, inspired by huge changes in Soviet foreign policy," he said.
– – –
Read More © Business Insider