Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Kremlin Warns US Must Return Diplomatic Compounds Without Conditions

Kremlin Warns US Must Return Diplomatic Compounds Without Conditions

Thomas Shannon, the USA undersecretary of state for political affairs, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov plan to meet in Washington on Monday to discuss issues including the expulsions and the seizure of two properties owned by the Russian government in the United States.

Senate Democrats Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, have sent a letter to Shannon telling him they "strongly oppose" any move to hand the two diplomatic compounds back over to Russian Federation.

In December 2016, former USA president Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian officials from the U.S. and seized two pieces of property belonging to the Kremlin. Putin did not immediately retaliate over the expulsions and property seizure, saying he would wait to see what the Trump administration would do.

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. "The number of staff at the USA embassy in Moscow exceeds the number of our embassy employees in Washington by a big margin. So, one of the options is that, apart from expelling the corresponding number of USA diplomats, we will just have to even the number of personnel".

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. "Moreover, there are too many C.I.A. operatives living under the roof of the American diplomatic mission".

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The Trump administration on Tuesday removed the Moscow-based firm from two lists of approved vendors used by government agencies to purchase technology equipment, amid concerns its products could be used by the Kremlin to gain entry into USA networks.

Sebastian Gorka, a senior White House adviser to President Donald Trump, told CNN on Friday that it was time for the U.S. -Russia relationship to "move on".

"But at the same time we expect that in the end our colleagues in the USA will finally show some kind of political will to rectify the violations of worldwide law which they admitted".

Flynn may have violated the Logan Act, which prohibits Americans from negotiating with foreign governments about disputes with the United States.

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.

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