The United States is ready to expel Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov from the country if the Russian side does not fulfill several Washington's demands by April.
The relevant information has already been conveyed by the United States Department of State to Russian diplomats, TASS quotes Antonov as saying.
According to Antonov, the U.S. demands that Russia provide visas to the security guards of the U.S. ambassador.
The personnel of the Russian Embassy in the United States have been reduced again recently. Several diplomats had to leave because their stay, limited by the American side to three years, has expired.
According to Antonov, during his 4 years tenure as the Russian ambassador to Washington, more than 120 Russian diplomats had to leave the United States. Antonov believes that this trend will continue.
Moscow considers this step as "unfriendly and hostile," the ambassador added. He believes that Washington is making every effort to "reduce the Russian diplomatic presence in the United States." “Despite the fact that the Russian consulates general of New York and Houston are not officially closed, they cannot function normally due to the lack of diplomats and employees,” Antonov said.
In November 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that 27 Russian diplomats had their U.S. visas cancelled. They must leave the country by January 30.