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Moscow shames United States for situation with Russian diplomatic compounds

12 July 2017

In December, then US president Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russians over what he said was their involvement in hacking last year's USA presidential election, allegations Moscow flatly denies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the issue of the Obama sanctions with US President Donald Trump when they met in Hamburg on 7 July, Izvestia reported.

"I believe that it is just shameful for such a great country as the US, which champions worldwide law, to leave the situation in suspension", the top Russian diplomat said, adding the confiscation was just a final spasm of an administration trying to do maximum damage to US-Russian relations and everything possible to maneuver the new Trump administration into an awkward position.

He continued: "If this is not the case, if Washington decides not to solve this issue, we will have to take counter actions".

Lavrov went on to say that Moscow is now working on reciprocal measures, but refused to provide any details.

According to the newspaper, Moscow was driven to take such measures by Washington's decision not to return the Russian Embassy's property, which was confiscated in December 2016.

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Sources in the Russian Foreign Ministry say Moscow may finally expel some 30 American diplomats in retaliation for a similar measure adopted in the previous USA administration. The US closed Russian intelligence compounds in NY and Maryland.

Izvestiya previously reported that Russian Federation was considering taking an official USA embassy residence and a US -owned warehouse in Moscow if the issue were not resolved.

Russia is "outraged" that the United States has not yet resolved issues following the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December.

According to the newspaper, while the administration plans to seize the American summer house in a forest region outside of Moscow and a warehouse in the center of the city, it will not touch the residence of the American ambassador and the American global school in St. Petersburg.

“There is a preliminary agreement on holding a meeting between Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon in St. Petersburg.

The Donald Trump administration is now considering the return of the two facilities, reports say.

Moscow shames United States for situation with Russian diplomatic compounds