US President Donald Trump has thanked Russian leader Vladimir Putin for expelling hundreds of US diplomats from Russia because it saved the government "a lot of money."
Mr Trump says the expulsions gave the federal government the ability to make cuts from their payroll.
"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," he told reporters on Thursday (US Time).
"There's no real reason for [the diplomats] to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we've been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We'll save a lot of money."
The cuts from the Russian President mean at least 755 diplomatic staff would have to leave by September 1.
The United States has one embassy in Moscow and three consulates across Russia, its estimate 455 diplomats would keep their posts.