US Official Invites Russia to Replace Expelled Diplomats

State Dept: Russia doesn't have to reduce number of personnel

The US announced Monday that they were expelling 60 Russian diplomats, but they could soon allow a fresh 60 back into the country, according to State Department officials, who say Russia’s personnel limit was not changed.

US Consulate in St. Petersburg

The US expelled 48 members of Russia’s diplomatic mission to the US, and 12 members of Russia’s mission to the United Nations in New York. Those specific people have to leave the country, but State Department officials say Russia is welcome to appoint another 60 such people to replace them.

Whether Russia chooses to replace them all is another matter. In addition to expelling those 60 people, the US also closed Russia’s Consulate in Seattle, which means there is one less physical location that they have to have personnel for.

Russia’s remaining diplomatic sites, in New York, Washington D.C., and Houston, may see something of an uptick in labor load with Seattle gone. Those sites haven’t gotten any bigger, however, and the US also hasn’t returned other seized Russian facilities, so they may simply not have room for all those people to be replaced.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.