Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin has announced that 755 staff must leave United States diplomatic missions, in retaliation for new US sanctions against Moscow.

The decision to expel staff was made on Friday, but Mr Putin has now confirmed the number who must go by the first of September.

It brings staff levels to 455, the same as Russia’s complement in Washington.

Russia has also said it is seizing holiday properties and a warehouse used by US diplomats.

The new US sanctions were in retaliation both for Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russian interference in the US election.

In December, the Obama administration ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and expelled 35 Russian diplomats in response to alleged hacking of the US democratic party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

-BBC