Kremlin wants U.S. to return Russian compounds without strings

14 July, 2017, 23:17 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Time running out’ Moscow warns it may expel US diplomats over seized Russian property

"We gave time for the new administration to examine this disgusting legacy and begin to build the bilateral relationship on the basis of mutual respect", Ms. Zakharova said.

Russia is ready to expel a number of US diplomats and seize two USA properties here in a tit-for-tat response if no deal is reached at a meeting of senior diplomats of the two sides in Washington on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Ms. Zakharova said Russian Federation hoped to hear "concrete proposals" on how to untangle the situation at a meeting on Monday between Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister of Russian Federation, and Thomas A. Shannon, the under secretary of state of the United States.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon are scheduled to meet on Monday for much-anticipated talks that Moscow abruptly canceled last month in response to new Ukraine-related sanctions announced by the Trump administration.

Russia could expel more than 35 Americans, Ms. Zakharova said, making sure that the same number of diplomats work in the United States Embassy in Moscow and the Russian Embassy in Washington. "One of our options, apart from a tit-for-tat expulsion of Americans, would be to even out the numbers".

"We strongly urge the State Department not to return the diplomatic compounds in Maryland and NY to the Government of the Russian Federation at this time", a group of four Senate Democrats wrote in a letter to Mr. Shannon on Monday.

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the two compounds at the Group of 20 summit last week, but were unable to reach a final agreement.

Mr. Putin has not finalized any retaliatory measures as of Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to Reuters.

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