Thursday, August 10, 2017

I don't find Donald Trump's answer to a Russian order amusing.

To begin with, the American embassy anywhere in the world is sovereign territory. This is land consented to by Russia to conduct diplomatic relations and as a place where visiting Americans can find a friendly face. The Russian president ordered the USA to remove three-quarters of its staff. What is left, the security personnel and the Ambassador?

When a country becomes this hostile toward a diplomatic mission and diplomatic relations with the USA there is a more dangerous current within that demand. I don't see any Americans leaving Moscow. If Russia sees it differently it needs to make its case. The sanctions stand and their presence in the Ukraine is illegal by every measure of any diplomatic document that exists.

The American mission is beautiful. It respects Russian architecture. The Russian government needs to make its intentions known as to why the demands are being made to end the mission in Moscow.

July 30, 2017
By Neil MacFarquhar

Moscow — President Vladimir V. Putin (click here) announced Sunday that the American diplomatic mission in Russia must reduce its staff by 755 employees, an aggressive response to new American sanctions that seemed ripped right from the Cold War playbook and sure to increase tensions between the two capitals.

In making the announcement, Mr. Putin said Russia had run out of patience waiting for relations with the United States to improve.

“We waited for quite a long time that, perhaps, something will change for the better, we held out hope that the situation would somehow change,” Mr. Putin said in an interview on state-run Rossiya 1 television, which published a Russian-language transcript on its website. “But, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon.”

Mr. Putin said the staff reduction was meant to cause real discomfort for Washington and its representatives in Moscow....