Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Russian Federation to decide next week on retaliation against U.S. over compound seizures

Russian Federation to decide next week on retaliation against U.S. over compound seizures

The two compounds located in Maryland and NY were seized by the Obama administration a year ago to punish Russian Federation for meddling in the US elections.

The warning, delivered by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, reflects rising frustration in Moscow over the Trump administration's refusal to hand back two Russian diplomatic compounds which were seized at the same time as some of Russia's diplomats were sent home past year.

Russia is hoping that Shannon will have "detailed suggestions on how to resolve the situation" with the Russian property in the US, Zakharova said. "As for the measures - the number of personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow significantly exceeds the number of our personnel working in Washington".

"The seized compounds have not been returned yet", Ms. Zakharova said, as translated by TASS, a state-owned newswire.

On Dec. 29, the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying and closed two compounds belonging to the Russian Embassy in response to Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election and to "a pattern of harassment of our diplomats overseas".

"Accordingly, one of the possible options is, besides the purely symmetrical expulsion of the Americans, to simply equalize the staff", she said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin decided not to retaliate over the expulsions and property seizure at the time, saying he would wait to see what the Trump administration would do.

Russian authorities repeatedly urged the United States to restore access to Russian diplomatic property.

Speaking at a news briefing on Friday, the Kremlin's spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said that Mr. Putin had not yet made a decision on the fate of the American diplomats.

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