Washington sees Moscow's expelling of US deputy chief of mission in Russia as 'escalatory'

Russia has expelled the US deputy chief of mission in Moscow, Mr Bart Gorman. PHOTOS: US EMBASSY, REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Russia expelled the United States deputy chief of mission in Moscow, Mr Bart Gorman, in what a State Department spokesman called an unprovoked move on Thursday (Feb 17).

"We can confirm that Russia expelled US deputy chief of mission (DCM) to Russia Bart Gorman," a State Department spokesman said.

"Russia's action against our DCM was unprovoked and we consider this an escalatory step and are considering our response," the spokesman said.

"Now more than ever, it is critical that our countries have the necessary diplomatic personnel in place to facilitate communication between our governments," the official said.

Moscow and Washington have been feuding over the number of diplomats at each other's embassies as their relations deteriorate.

The US embassy in Moscow suspended most consular services after Russia banned it from employing locals, while in November, Russia's ambassador in Washington, Mr Anatoly Antonov, said more than 50 diplomats and their families would be forced to leave the US by mid-2022.

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