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Russian president now demands the departure of more than 700 diplomats of the US from Russia so that the numbers in both countries are equal. It is very apparent a revenge of something. But why did Russia permit so many US diplomats stay in it till now? Did it want to get some business opportunities through these people? At least it could have gained some foreign curriency through their everyday life?

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    It might be interesting to compare this number to the size of other delegations in Russia and delegation from the US in other countries. – Philipp Jul 31 '17 at 14:22
  • is it more appropriate to say "retaliation" than "revenge" from a political point of view? – Will Jul 31 '17 at 15:18
  • @Will I am not a native speaker of English, I did not realize the difference in word meanings. I meant Putin has done something in return for his resentment against the US rival which made him disappointed. – NanningYouth Aug 1 '17 at 8:27
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The original expulsion of Russian personnel was by the Obama administration, in late 2016, in retaliation for claims of interfering with our Presidential elections.

In the public statements, Trump had given every indication of having a more cordial view of Putin and the Russian administration, and part of the allegations being looked into are whether some of the communications with Russians that were concealed/lied about included promises to roll back or negate those actions by the Obama administration. In either case, it appears that Russia decided not to retaliate, tit for tat, so to speak, in order to not escalate the situation in the hopes that, by being relatively docile in their actions, they could maximize the chances of the policies being changed with a new administration and both houses of Congress being the same party as that new administration (and the opposite of Obama's party affiliation).

Reuters: Trump praises Putin for holding back in U.S.-Russia spy dispute (December, 2016)

However, with the entire Russia affair refusing to quietly go away, members of Congress seem fairly reluctant to take a stand for leniency for Russia, and, indeed, the Congress just passed, in both houses, a bill formalizing additional sanctions against Russia. The Trump administration has decided not to further raise their profile or raise additional questions, and indicated he will not exercise a veto.

It appears that Russia has decided that their tactics of not retaliating in-kind has not gained them any kind of hoped-for benefit, so they are moving forward with a more expected reaction of in-kind retaliatory actions.

  • If there had not been this retaliation, would it have been all right for a country to accomodate so many diplomats from another country? I believe there should have been a balance of size, scale and number of things in foreign affairs to show the status and dignity of a country involved. All countries should be treated equally regardless of their size or population. – NanningYouth Aug 1 '17 at 8:30
  • @NanningYouth: So the US should have the same number of diplomats in the Vatican as in China? Diplomats are civil servants, and their number is chiefly dictated by state needs. There are simply far more Chinese and Russians who need visa for the US, etcetera. – MSalters Aug 1 '17 at 11:45
  • @NanningYouth - "would it have been all right?" If both countries are okay with it, I don't see why that matters. I particularly don't see why that matters to you. Some countries may want more, some countries may want less. A nation that is more active with agreements and business interests in another country or a region will have different needs than one that doesn't. It's really up to the two nations to figure out what is appropriate. As we can see, it's not like one nation can park as many of their personnel in another country without that country's approval. – PoloHoleSet Aug 1 '17 at 13:43
  • @MSalters No, obviously you got me wrong, the US could have different numbers of people in two different countries, but here the problem is mutual, the diplomats of Russia in the US is much less than those of the US in Russia. The imbalance lies here. Your example is another case. And also we do not hold that Vatica is a country, but that it is an office or things like that of celestial or deity affairs, having nothing real to do with human world. – NanningYouth Aug 1 '17 at 14:25
  • @PoloHoleSet It does matter with me, my friend. Both Trump and Putin are my idols. I like Trump because he has so much money and a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter and I like Putin because he is a strong man that every woman wants to marry. – NanningYouth Aug 1 '17 at 14:28

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