Washington’s decision to expel Russian diplomats yet unconfirmed

There has been no official confirmation yet of Washington’s decision to declare six Russian diplomats personae non gratae and deport a total of 50 of the Russian embassy staff. But if this does happen, retaliatory measures against US diplomats working in Russia are very likely to follow – it may well be considered a normal practice in diplomacy. The possible deportation of Russian diplomats from the US means that over 40% of the Russian embassy's diplomatic corps will have to go home. According to the official list of Russian diplomats to the US, the Russian embassy to Washington numbers around 120 employees having a diplomatic status. In the mean time, some of the six diplomats in question may have already left the USA, according to some sources. The sources also hint that the move is linked with the recent arrest of Robert Hanssen - a FBI agent facing charges of espionage for Russia. His guilt has not been proved, though. A similar incident occurred during the relapse into the cold war under Reagan's administration, where, again, around 50 Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the US.

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