Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday ordered a reduction of 755 U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia.
Putin made the announcement in a clip shown on state-run Rossiya 1 television.
"Over 1,000 employees — diplomats and technical workers — worked and continue to work today in Russia; 755 will have to stop this activity," he said, according to both the clip shown on television and a transcript provided by the Interfax news agency. "We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better, had such hope that the situation will somehow change, but, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon."
The move appears to make good on a promise Moscow made on Friday threatening to cut American diplomatic staff by 455 — the number of Russians employed at diplomatic missions in the U.S. — in response to the new sanctions legislation.
Russia also said it would seize two U.S. diplomatic properties in retaliation to the legislation.
When the bill becomes law, Trump will be unable to ease sanctions against Russia unless he gets congressional approval to do so. The legislation cleared Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support, by a 98-2 vote in the Senate and 419-3 in the House.
The legislation is part of a larger response to Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a conclusion reached with high confidence by the U.S. intelligence community — and something Putin has strongly denied. The bill also sanctioned Russia for its interference in Ukraine and invasion of Crimea.
According to the New York Times, Putin ordered an overall staff reduction — not an expulsion of staff. Not all of those leaving the posts would be Americans expelled from Russia.
Russia's deputy foreign minister said his country's retaliation over U.S. actions against Russia was "overdue."
"I think this retaliation is long, long overdue," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on ABC's "This Week" earlier on Sunday.
"We have a very rich toolbox at our disposal. It would be ridiculous on my part to start speculating on what may or may not happen," Ryabkov said. "I can assure you that different options are on the table and consideration is being given to all sorts of things, both symmetrical or asymmetrical, to use a very popular word in the world of diplomacy."