Russia Will Expel Diplomats in Retaliation for U.S. Sanctions

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MOSCOW — The Russian government plans to expel 10 American diplomats and ban other American officials from traveling to Russia in retaliation for sanctions announced this week by the Biden administration, Russia’s foreign minister said Friday.

Though Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, said other measures would be announced later, limiting the initial response to just diplomatic expulsions suggested the Russian government did not intend an escalation that could worsen already dismal relations between the countries.

Ten American diplomats stationed in Russia will be asked to leave the country and eight so far unnamed officials in the Biden administration will be banned from entering Russia, Mr. Lavrov said.

President Biden suggested the sanctions would signal a harder line toward Moscow, though he left a door open for dialogue, after years of deferential treatment under the Trump administration. Mr. Lavrov called the sanctions an “absolutely unfriendly and unprovoked action.”

But if the Russian response is largely limited to the expulsions and travel bans, it would be seen as a positive sign that the Kremlin does not intend to raise the diplomatic stakes and may remain open to the invitation to a summit meeting, possibly in a European country sometime over the summer, that Mr. Biden extended to President Vladimir V. Putin this week.

This is a developing story.