Russian Federation demands immediate return of diplomatic property from US


A senior White House official told Sputnik on Monday that the properties, seized in December 2016 over Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. election, would be given back only under the condition that it receives something in return from Moscow.

Last December, then-President Barack Obama imposed a range of sanctions against the Russian government for its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including the closure of two Russian compounds located in New York State and Maryland.

Sputnik, a senior officer from the white house confirmed that United State President Donald Trump's administration is moving toward to give back Russia's diplomatic properties, only under the condition that it will receive something in return from Moscow.

Russian Federation has refrained from a retaliatory response, but Lavrov said last week, "If Washington decides not to solve this issue, we will have to take counter actions", possibly by blocking use of a country house and storage facility used by U.S. Embassy personnel in Moscow.

The White House has faced a maelstrom of United States investigations into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Russian Federation has described any possible conditions set by Washington to return two of the country's diplomatic compounds in the USA that were closed down late a year ago as "unacceptable".

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"We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property".

Lavrov, speaking during a visit to Belarus, said that what he called USA attempts to set preconditions amounted to "daylight robbery".

Lavrov, in a visit to Belarus, said that "anti-Russian feeling" in the US makes it uncertain whether Moscow and Washington can agree to cooperate on world issues.

Obama sought to "reset" troubled relations with Moscow after he entered office in 2009, but ties were badly strained by Moscow's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 and support for separatists whose war against Kyiv's forces has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014, among other issues.

President Trump has continued to cast doubt on Russian interference in the election, saying he wants to build closer ties with Russia.

He urged to "not get ahead of ourselves" when asked what to expect from Monday's talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon in Washington.