Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday announced 755 members of the U.S. diplomatic mission to Russia will be expelled from his country. This reduces the number of American diplomats in Russia from about 1,210 to 455, putting the American delegation on par with the Russian diplomatic contingent in the United States. Putin’s announcement comes in response to new sanctions against Russia overwhelmingly passed by both houses of Congress this past week. While President Trump initially lobbied against the sanctions package, he later supported it after some changes were made and it became clear his veto would be easily overridden. Moscow announced Friday that expulsions were coming, but the extent of the change was not apparent before Putin’s Sunday statement. “We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better,” Putin said of the delay in disclosing this detail.
#BREAKING 755 US diplomats must leave Russia, President Putin announces
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 30, 2017