A senior Russian diplomat has stated that Moscow may demand Washington to reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia to 300 or below to get real parity in the number of the United States and Russian diplomats.
Russia is considering various options for responding to the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in California by the U.S., the Sputnik News quoted Russian Foreign Ministry, as saying.
"As for the response, we have said, including in public, that in diplomacy there is an inviolable principle of reciprocity, and Americans know this very well. If they behaved in this way, it means they agree that we can act in kind with their foreign institutions in Russia. With regards to specific measures, we will consider them, and if necessary, they will be applied," Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's North America Department, Georgiy Borisenko said.
He further stated that Moscow has not abandoned its intention to file a lawsuit with the U.S. court over the situation around the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco.
"No, we have not abandoned anything at all. In line with the instruction of the Russian president, we are working actively on this. There are US lawyers who are ready to interact with us. But this is a slow process. In any case, the statute of limitations here is quite solid, so there is no hurry. We work methodically, consistently, select materials in order to maximally substantiate our lawsuit. When everything is ready, it will be filed," Borisenko said.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin hinted Russia could impose additional U.S. diplomatic staff cuts.
This came after early in September, at the request of the U.S. authorities, the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco and trade missions in Washington and New York were closed.
The Russian foreign ministry had alleged that U.S. law enforcement had broken down and conducted searches at the residence in "flagrant" violation of international law.