Trump to sign Russian Federation sanctions

Mr Ryabkov's comments came after Moscow ordered the United States on Friday to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff and said it would seize two USA diplomatic properties as a response to the new sanctions that were approved almost unanimously by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Russia is also seizing two US diplomatic properties, much like the USA shut down two Russian diplomatic compounds under the Obama Administration.

The decision is a sweeping response to the passage of a new sanctions bill in the U.S. Congress, which President Donald Trump has said he'll sign.

Lavrov added, however, that Moscow was "ready to normalize the bilateral relations with the US and cooperate on important global issues". Reuters cited a report by Russia's Interfax news agency saying "hundreds" of employees would be affected, by the exact number was not clear. The Syrians will then choose their future way of life on their own, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference after talks with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto on Thursday.

The United States-Russia relationship has become increasingly strained in the wake of U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that the Kremlin interfered in the USA election to discredit Hillary Clinton and help President Donald Trump win the election. The legislation specifies that President Trump can't ease the sanctions without congressional approval. The ministry is also suspending the U.S. Embassy's use of two sites - a storage facility and a dacha on an island in the Moscow River.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia's energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow's benefit.

The Senate backed the bill, which also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea, by a margin of 98-2.

Russia's Foreign Ministry dismissed the new sanctions as "creating unfair competitive advantages for the US economy".

The deputy foreign minister would not specify what Russia's plans for retaliation consist of, but said that the country has "a very rich toolbox at our disposal".

Moscow on Friday ordered the USA to slash its number of diplomats in Russian Federation to 455 and froze two embassy compounds - a Moscow summer house and a storage facility in the city - from August 1.

"This kind of blackmail aimed at restricting the cooperation between Russian Federation and other nations is a threat for many countries and global businesses", the statement said.

Russia's response mirrors moves by outgoing President Barack Obama last December to expel 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian estates in the U.S.

Gabriel said in a statement: "It remains the case that we will in no way accept an extraterritorial application of these USA sanctions against European companies".

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