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Vowing retaliation over the new sanctions approved by US lawmakers, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that Russia is not ruling out any steps "to bring the US to its senses".
"We are not ruling out any steps, so to say, to bring to their senses those presumptuous Russophobes who are setting the tone on Capitol Hill today," Russia TV quoted Ryabkov as saying.
A ministry statement sets a September 1 deadline to "bring the number of diplomatic and technical staff at the US Embassy in Moscow, the consulates general in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, into strict correspondence with the number of Russian diplomats and technical staff currently working in the United States, by Sept. 1, 2017."
Russia will never submit to this kind of techniques. We stand for international law, for the fair, consistent finding of necessary solutions to world problems, which can be found only together," Ryabkov said.
The sanctions are aimed at "intimidating the whole world with the consequences of disobeying [America]," according to Ryabkov. The main thing now is to impede US attempts to "impose its will" on the rest of the world, Ryabkov told.
Russia's move came a day after the US Senate approved new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The bill is now headed to President Donald Trump's desk, who has hinted he may veto it, but the bill passed with a veto-proof majority.
The measures were passed by a vote of 98-2 and include sanctions against Russian officials in retaliation for their alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The ministry said the total number of personnel employed in US diplomatic and consular offices in Russia will be reduced to 455 people.
It also suspended as of August 1 the US use of a summer residence in Moscow's Serebryany Bor and storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street.
"Russia reserves the right to resort to other measures affecting US. interests on a retaliatory basis," it added.
It said Russia has done its "utmost" to normalize bilateral relations and develop cooperation with the US on the important issues.
"The new bill uses political means to create a dishonest competitive advantage for the US in the global economy. This blackmail aimed at restricting Russia's cooperation with its foreign partners threatens many countries and international businesses," it added.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin approved the ministry statement as a response to the US"Of course, such measures are impossible without authorization by the president," Peskov was quoted as saying by TASS.