Moscow MOVE OUT: US diplomats pack up to leave Russia after Putin EXPELS them ...

Vladimir Putin has ordered the US to cut around 60 per cent of its diplomatic staff - 755 personnel - in Russia who must leave the country by September 1.

Moscow also intends to seize two US diplomatic properties in response to sanctions approved by Congress last week.

The White House has said Donald will sign the sanctions bill, meant as a response to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and to further punish Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

US embassy staff leave MoscowTASSUS Embassy officials leave their estate in Moscow's Serebryany Bor Park

Removal men began dismantling play equipment and barbecues at a US-owned dacha (country villa) on the outskirts of Moscow, after being refused access the day before.

The dacha, which is being confiscated along with a US warehouse in the south of the Russian capital, was used by US diplomatic staff at the weekends and to host parties for students, journalists and other diplomats.

The removal men said they arrived at around 7am (local time) and were seen packing furniture, including beds and lamps, into three white removal vans before leaving the property three hours later.

Donald TrumpGettyUS President Donald

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Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said US staff had to leave the dacha and warehouse by midday on Tuesday.

Mr Ryabkov and the Kremlin said no one had obstructed US employees trying to access the property.

Mr Putin said on Sunday Russia had ordered the United States to cut 755 of its 1,200 diplomatic staff in its embassy and consular operations, though many of those let go will be Russian citizens, with the

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