United States senators urged President Joe Biden on Tuesday to expel 300 Russian diplomats from the country, amid the disproportionality in diplomatic representation.
A group of 17 American lawmakers, representing both Republicans and Democrats, claim that the number of Russian diplomats should be equal to that of U.S. diplomats in Russia.
Russia in August banned the U.S. embassy in Moscow from retaining, hiring or contracting Russian or third-country staff, except for guards, forcing the mission to let go 182 employees and dozens of contractors, the U.S. State Department said.
That meant there are only about 100 U.S. diplomats in Russia, compared with 400 Russian diplomats across the United States, the senators said.
"This disproportionality in diplomatic representation is unacceptable. Accordingly, Russia must issue enough visas to approach parity between the number of American diplomats serving in Russia and the number of Russian diplomats serving in the United States," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Biden.
If Moscow does not do so, they said Biden should begin expelling as many as 300 Russian diplomats.