Soaring tensions between the US and Russia have the two nations’ bilateral ties the worst they’ve been in decades, with each side carrying out tit-for-tat diplomatic moves against the other. Diplomats on both sides appear to agree that needs to stop.
The US State Department and officials from Russian Foreign Ministry both issued statements saying they believe that there is no need for any further measures against the other side, and that the two sides should be able to start working to improve ties.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s position was particularly pointed, that it was time to allow diplomats on both sides to “forge ahead” instead of reacting with more and more hostile measures. That may not be up to the diplomats to decide, however.
The reason tit-for-tat measures keep happening is that both sides feel obliged to make the last move. As tensions worsen, so too do political pressures to keep doing more to the other side, provoking more responses.