The Russians have final reacted to the earlier decision of President Obama to expel 35 Russian diplomats in November last year. The Russian reaction has come after both houses of Congress passed a bill further extending the gamut of sanctions against Russia. Even a cursory reading of the bill shows that one of the targets is President Trump himself, whose hands have now been tied and he will be unable to ease or lift Russian sanctions on his own without approval from Congress.

This shows that both houses of the Senate are suspicious of the president and they believe there is a “Russian connection” between Donald Trump’s team and the Russians.

The Russians may or may not have interfered in the election in support of Trump, but the intelligence agencies are convinced that this is true. CNN International reported this news.

Russia reacts to Senate sanctions bill

The Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Sunday the staff at US Diplomatic Missions in Russia will be cut and the numbers of US diplomats will be reduced to just 455. This is about the same number that is allowed by the USA. The Russians have also confiscated two properties held by the US in Moscow and as per government sources over 750 employees of the US embassy will have to be cut. The Russians have however left a window of opportunity and have given time till 01 Sept 2017 for the action to be completed.

Putin's attitude

The action by Putin shows a hardening of the Russian position. Congress in its wisdom and as a sign of distrust of Trump has passed these sanctions by an overwhelming vote and with Trump realizing that he cannot veto the bill; he has agreed to sign it. He had no choice really, and all the hopes of Putin that Russia-US relations would change after Trump became president have been dashed.

He reportedly told a news agency that Russia had waited a long time, but as things have deteriorated, he had no choice but to take action on the lines of the Americans.


Earlier on Sunday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Yaakov had threatened further retaliation and reportedly said that if the US decides to move further in this matter, then Russia will answer with further actions against the USA.

Trump is silent on this issue, and one thing is clear that he does not seem to have the trust of Congress and is now fighting with his back to the wall. If things escalate, further his impeachment can also be on the cards.