US President Donald Trump has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for ordering the US embassy in Moscow to slash its staff — boasting that this would cut payroll costs.
Last month, the Kremlin demanded that Washington reduce its diplomatic footprint in Russia by 755 employees — both US diplomats and local staff — and close two compounds.
This was seen as marking a historic new low in post-Cold war Russia-US relations but Mr Trump, who has long argued the case for closer ties, said after a meeting with top aides in New Jersey he saw a silver lining. “I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll and, as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Mr Trump said.
“I greatly appreciate the fact that we've been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money,” he said.