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 US Department of State confirms 35 Russian diplomats being banished

The U.S. Department of State has confirmed its intention to declare persona non grata 35 Russian officials in response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and to a pattern of harassment of U.S. diplomats overseas.

Censor.NET reports citing a statement by Deputy Department Spokesperson Mark C. Toner.

The statement reads: "The State Department today declared persona non grata 35 Russian officials operating in the United States who were acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic or consular status. The Department also informed the Russian Government that it would deny Russian personnel access to two recreational compounds in the United States owned by the Russian Government.

Read more: US banishes 35 Russian diplomats, - Reuters

"The Department took these actions as part of a comprehensive response to Russia's interference in the U.S. election and to a pattern of harassment of our diplomats overseas that has increased over the last four years, including a significant increase in the last 12 months. This harassment has involved arbitrary police stops, physical assault, and the broadcast on State TV of personal details about our personnel that put them at risk.

Read more: US president sees new Russia sanctions as necessary response to efforts to harm state interests

"In addition, the Russian Government has impeded our diplomatic operations by, among other actions: forcing the closure of 28 American corners which hosted cultural programs and English-language teaching; blocking our efforts to begin the construction of a new, safer facility for our Consulate General in St. Petersburg; and rejecting requests to improve perimeter security at the current, outdated facility in St. Petersburg.

"Today's actions send a clear message that such behavior is unacceptable and will have consequences," Toner said.

Read more: Obama enacts new sanctions against Russia
 
 
 
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