Tags: russia | diplomatic | compounds

Russia Diplomatic Compounds 'Almost' No Longer Off Limits

Image: Russia Diplomatic Compounds 'Almost' No Longer Off Limits

The Russian Embassy's compound in Centreville, Maryland in 2016. (Screengrab via Twitter)

Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 09:36 AM

Russia's diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland may be reopened, with a senior Kremlin official saying the row that started with the Obama administration had "almost" been resolved following hours-long talks.

On Monday, Russia demanded that Washington unconditionally restore its access to the compounds, reported Agence France-Presse.

Former President Barack Obama ordered the ban in December in response to suspected Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

"We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property, we consider that it must be returned without any conditions and talking," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

When President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump met for the first time at the G20 summit in Hamburg this month, the Kremlin strongman raised the question of the diplomatic sites "quite unambiguously," Peskov said.

"We still hope our American colleagues will show political wisdom and political will," he added.

The row was high on the agenda at talks in Washington on Monday between Thomas Shannon, the US State Department's No. 3, and Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Those talks, which lasted three hours, had originally been scheduled for June, but Russia cancelled them at the time, citing new U.S. sanctions linked to the conflict in Ukraine.

After the meeting Ryabkov, asked by journalists if the issue of the diplomatic compounds had been resolved, replied: "Almost, almost".

There was no word from the US side.

Obama announced the United States was shutting down the residential complexes at the same time as he expelled 35 Russian diplomats for spying.

He said the measures were in response to U.S. intelligence reports of Russian hacking and an alleged influence campaign to sway the presidential election in Trump's favor, describing the compounds as used by Moscow for "intelligence-related purposes."

At the time Putin held off from retaliating, saying he would wait to see how Trump reacted after he came into the White House.

But hope that Trump would follow up on campaign pledges to boost relations have fizzled as any ties to Moscow have become toxic for the White House amid a maelstrom of investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Now Russia has ratcheted up threats that it could belatedly take revenge by blocking a country house and a storage facility used by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

"If Washington decides not to solve this issue, we will have to take counter actions," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained last week that the U.S. was also refusing to issue visas for Russian diplomats to replace those expelled.

© AFP 2017

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Russia's diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland may be reopened, with a senior Kremlin official saying the row that started with the Obama administration had "almost" been resolved following hours-long talks.
russia, diplomatic, compounds
434
2017-36-19
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 09:36 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved