In the regime of former President Barack Obama, the administration had expelled 35 Russian diplomats based on intelligence inputs about the involvement of Moscow in the 2016 presidential election. As a result, the Obamas administration seized two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States and expelled 35 Russian diplomats. Congress has, therefore, imposed sanctions on Russia and it has taken retaliatory action only now.

As a part of its operations, it has seized two American diplomatic properties, and Vladimir Putin wants Donald Trump to reduce the US embassy staff in Russia by 755 to maintain parity with the number of Russian staff in the US.

Reaction of President Donald Trump

New York Times reports that, while some leaders protested the Cold War-style move of Russia, President Donald Trump expressed gratitude to President Vladimir Putin for the order on the reduction of US embassy staff in Russia by 755. Instead of condemning it, he thanked Putin and said that it would benefit the US economically since it would reduce the payroll.

In the opinion of observers, his comments are true to his style of functioning – he does not criticize Putin and wants to maintain cordial relations in spite of differences. In fact, he has always praised his Russian counterpart as a strong leader who has the interests of Russia uppermost in his mind.

Available figures of 2013 indicate that there was a total of 1279 employees in United States Embassy in Moscow and at American consulates in St.

Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok. Once the cut is implemented, the majority of those who will lose their jobs will be local Russian nationals who used to be employed as translators, drivers etcetera. The American diplomats will be brought back to the US.

The effects of staff reduction

American officials said the reduction ordered by Vladimir Putin would have a significant impact on services.

It will lead to slower processing of visas for Russian travelers to the United States, and there would be problems faced while collecting information and intelligence to inform policy makers back home. These and works of a similar nature could take a beating because locals have a distinct advantage over others and that would be lost.

President Putin has given time till Sept 1 to ensure cut on the embassy staff. Analysts feel he has given adequate notice to Donald Trump and probably expects him to come up with a compromise formula. However, Trump has not expressed any concern about the embassy cuts which would tend to suggest that he would not try to reverse the Russian decision.

Michael A. McFaul, who was ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama, feels that the drastic reduction of more than 750 would have a direct impact on the US diplomatic mission in Russia because many people are ignorant about the role that embassies have to play in order to pursue matters of national interest.