​​27 more Russian diplomats expelled from US, ambassador says

Over two dozen more Russian diplomats have been dismissed from the United States, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. said in an interview released on Saturday, Reuters reported.

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said during the interview for the Soloviev Live Youtube channel that "our diplomats are being expelled."

"A large group of my comrades, 27 people with families, will leave us on January 30,” Antonov added, noting that officials are "facing a serious staff shortage."

In August, Antonov said that 24 Russian diplomats had been asked by the United States to leave the country by early September as their visas expired.

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"It has gotten to the point where the U.S. authorities cancel valid visas of spouses and children of our staff with no reasons provided. The widespread delays in renewing expired visas are also aimed at squeezing Russian diplomatic workers out of the country," Antonov told The National Interest magazine at the time.

"As a result, about 60 of my colleagues (130 together with family members) cannot return to their motherland even under urgent humanitarian circumstances," he added.

However, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement to Reuters at the time that it was “nothing new” to require Russians to renew their visas after three years and claimed the move was not retaliatory.

A spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry said that close to 200 Russian diplomats were still employed in the United States as of Oct. 29, according to Reuters.

The Hill has reached out to the State Department, Russia’s foreign ministry and Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. for comment.