MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow has been long waiting for some improvements in relations with the United States and had hope for it, but it appears that the situation will not change soon, Putin said Sunday.
"We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better, had such hope, that the situation will somehow change, but, apparently, if it changes, then not so soon. I'm not talking about all sorts of reasons of internal political character within the United States itself. But we must, I decided, to show that we will not leave anything without an answer," Putin said in an interview with Rossiya 1 host Vladimir Solovyov.
Putin also explained why Russia responded to the US sanctions bill."The US side again undertook an unprovoked — which is very important — step toward deterioration of Russian-American relations: on illegal restrictions, on an attempt to influence other countries of the world, including its allies who are interested in developing and maintaining relations with Russia," Putin said.
In response to the anti-Russia policy of the United States and the new sanctions against Moscow being developed, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday urged the United States to bring the number of diplomats and technical staff of diplomatic missions in Russia in line with the number of Russian diplomatic representatives in the United States before September 1. This means that the total number of personnel employed in US diplomatic and consular offices in the Russia will be reduced to 455 people.