The United States expelled ten Russian diplomats on Thursday, and a “reverse action” came on Friday, and the Poles were not excluded from it either.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow on Friday that Russia, in response to the US sanctions, miraculously advised the US ambassador to return home to consult and expel 10 other US diplomats.
According to Lavrov, the advisor to the Russian President Yuri Usakov recommended John Sullivan to the US ambassador when he asked his office on Friday to return to Washington for consultations like his Russian counterpart. The Kommersant newspaper reported that the move was a de facto expulsion.
However, the comment noted that, unlike the declaration of persona non grata (this happened to US Ambassador George Kennan to the Soviet Union in 1952), this is a milder move by which the receiving party indicates that the head of mission may return to his post at a later time. However, the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations does not recognize the concept of “sending an ambassador for diplomatic consultation.”
The head of the Russian diplomacy also said that based on the principle of reciprocity, Russia, like the United States, would add eight high-ranking officials from the other country to its sanctions list.
Among many other sanctions measures affecting US embassies, he also said that US institutions and NGOs controlled by the US State Department and other government agencies will be phased out in Russia. He also said he would expel five Polish diplomats in response to a similar measure in Warsaw.