MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian high-ranking diplomat commented on mediareports of possible US measures to respond to Moscow's decision to cut the number of US diplomats in Russia.
"We are closely monitoring all the signals regarding how the US side will behave in the matter of organizing the activities of our diplomatic missions in the United States," Ryabkov said.
He said Russia would respond to any news steps aimed at hampering the work of Russian diplomats in the United States.
Ryabkov added that such steps would be "a serious political signal that the US side does not yet show readiness to switch bilateral relations to more reasonable tracks."
He said Moscow still hoped the situation would not reach a new aggravation with the United States and that it would be possible to stabilize the bilateral relations.Earlier in the day, the Russian Izvestia newspaper reported, citing diplomatic sources, that the United States was considering limiting the range of movement of Russian diplomatsfrom 25 miles to 10 to 15 miles. Moreover, every Russian diplomat would be obliged to notify the State Department three days prior if they intended to travel outside their posting for greater distance.
In December, then US President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and banned Russia from accessing two of its diplomatic compounds. The decision came as a response to Russia's alleged interference in the US election, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.
In late July, Russia responded with calling on the United States to cut down the number of diplomats and technical staff of diplomatic missions in Russia to 455 people, cutting it by 755 people, on par with Russia's diplomatic representation in the United States, by September 1.