USA administration considers return of Russian diplomatic property

Trump Jr. Tells Hannity He Saw Meeting As 'Opposition Research' (From a Foreign Power)

In December, then-President Barack Obama ordered the seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds in NY and Maryland and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats he said were spies, in a series of measures aimed at punishing Russia for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Peskov compared repeated media coverage of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion to "a long-running soap opera, which can compete with the most successful TV series aired in the United States".

If there was no movement in the U.S. -Russia dispute soon, she said Moscow would have to reluctantly retaliate and suggested U.S. spies working in Russian Federation would be among those to be expelled.

Elsewhere in her comments, Zakharova said Russia is prepared to expel United States diplomats and shut down some American compounds if Washington fails to reopen two Russian recreational estates that were closed in the US.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed today that the meeting is on, but that Russia may still be forced to take retaliatory action over the diplomatic compounds and numerous other outstanding "irritants" left over from the Obama Administration.

"The number of personnel at the USA embassy in Moscow significantly exceeds the number of our personnel working in Washington".

Recent indications that the Trump administration was preparing to return the properties brought criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, who argue that Moscow has done nothing to warrant a reprieve from punishment for its meddling in the USA presidential election past year.




"If the U.S. partners do not understand differently, we will at some point have to act in this direction", Zakharova said at a weekly briefing, noting that a "long pause" on the issue has "dragged on".

"And if we see good faith come out of the Kremlin with regards to things such as a cease-fire, then perhaps there is a chance for what Rex Tillerson wants to see happen, which is an improvement in relations between our two capitals", he said.

He argued that "the Americans tried to portray those as a witch hunt against United States diplomats".

He told CNN the White House was considering what to do regarding the diplomatic compounds in order to improve that relationship.

The outlet therefore suggests that the upcoming meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon should lead to specific results in the settlement of this very issue.

"There is no precise deadline".

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