Putin Takes Extreme Action Against U.S.

Putin Takes Extreme Action Against U.S.
Putin Takes Extreme Action Against U.S.

The last weekend in July has been an eventful one for the United States and Russia, at least where interactions between the two are concerned. After President Donald Trump signed sanctions into law last week holding Russia accountable for meddling in the 2016 election, Russia responded firmly and swiftly. An announcement from President Vladimir Putin on Sunday revealed that Russia would oust approximately 755 American diplomats and civil servants from the country altogether.
Many are calling the retaliative move the “most severe since the Cold War,” pointing out that it places the U.S. at a significant disadvantage in the investigation itself and defense measures.
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Russia will also seize U.S.-owned properties on Russian soil, including the US Embassy in Moscow and three individual consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok. Employees located at any of the four locations (and a small handful of others) have until September 1st to vacate the country willingly. What happens after that point if they don’t leave wasn’t immediately clear.
The international squabble is yet another sign that the relationship between the U.S. and Russia is quickly souring and likely to worsen over the coming months.
Putin seemed discouraged by the announcement, indicating the Russian administration had hoped for more. “We waited a long time for things to perhaps change for the better,” he said. “We had such hope that the situation would change, but judging by the situation that will not be soon. I thought it was time for us to show that we will not leave this without an answer. As for other possible measures, or whether it is a lot or not, this is quite sensible from the point of view of the work of the diplomatic department.”
U.S. officials seem to be taking the news with great offense; some have called the move petty, while others feel it’s much more serious. The State Department called it “a regrettable and uncalled for act” and indicated further investigation into a response.
As for whether or not Trump will seek to lighten the sanctions against Russia to improve relations, the issue may very well be removed from his grasp. The Senate passed a new bill late last week that removes Trump’s authority and ability to interfere, rendering the POTUS much less potent when it comes to a response.