President Vladimir Putin said 755 US diplomats must leave Russia and warned ties with Washington could be gridlocked for a long time, in a move Sunday that followed tough new American sanctions. The Russian foreign ministry had earlier demanded Washington cut its diplomatic presence in Russia by September to 455 — the same number Moscow has in the US. “More than a thousand people were working and are still working” at the US embassy and consulates, Putin said in

an interview with Rossia-24 television. “755 people must stop their activities in Russia.” Putin added that an upturn in Russia’s relations with Washington could not be expected “anytime soon”. “We have waited long enough, hoping that the situation would perhaps change for the better,” he said. “But it seems that even if the situation is changing, it’s not for any time soon.”  READ MORE