«The US authorities have expelled American friends,» Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in a statement in Washington DC, Friday. «Today dozens of our colleagues, Russian diplomats are leaving the United States of America. They are not the United States enemies; the US authorities have expelled American friends. Our diplomats were developing cooperation between Russia and the US in... Еще different areas,» he stated. The Ambassador added that relations between ordinary people should not suffer and everything will be done to make sure that Americans have zero problems with trips to Russia. «Once Americans visit our country, they will understand why we love it so much and why we are so proud of our homeland,» he said. «Nevertheless, we will keep on telling Americans more about Russia. We want everybody to understand that we are distant to become friends again,» Antonov emphasized. The US announced on Monday it would expel 60 Russian diplomats and close the Russian consulate in Seattle. Russian tit-for-tat measures include an expulsion of the same number of American diplomats and closing the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. These actions come following the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. The UK has blamed Moscow for the incident, while Russia has denied any involvement in the affair.