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Russia Threatens to Reciprocate US Seizure of Russian Diplomatic Compound

16 July 2017

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed today that the meeting is on, but that Russia may still be forced to take retaliatory action over the diplomatic compounds and numerous other outstanding "irritants" left over from the Obama Administration.

The Russian government has threatened to retaliate against the United States months after dozens of Russian officials were expelled from the USA and two of its properties were shuttered.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has raised once again the issue about the Russian diplomatic compounds seized by the USA government over Moscow's meddling in the 2016 elections.

In response to reports of Russian meddling in the presidential election, the outgoing Obama administration past year expelled 35 Russian officials from the U.S. and shut down two Russian estates that President Barack Obama said were being used for spy operations.

Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday released email records related to his meeting with Veselnitskaya in June 2016 during his father's presidential campaign, confirming previous USA media reports of the meeting.

"The seized compounds have not been returned yet", Ms. Zakharova said, as translated by TASS, a state-owned newswire. "(But) if it's the only way to make our American partners understand we will have to act". "We never rush on such matters".

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"Return of the diplomatic property to Russian Federation must not depend on any conditions", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The warning, delivered by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, reflects rising frustration in Moscow over the Trump administration's refusal to hand back two Russian diplomatic compounds which were seized at the same time as some of Russia's diplomats were sent home past year.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also denounced the notion of returning the compounds last week. She also criticized the United States for not issuing visas to diplomats who are supposed to replaced the expelled staff.

"Attempts are being made to link the unlinkable and beat around the bush when it comes to actual issues", she added. "Since the seizure of these compounds, we are unaware of any evidence or assessment that the treatment of USA personnel in the Russian Federation has markedly improved".

She argued earlier that the Russian diplomatic compounds in NY and Maryland had always had diplomatic immunity, so their seizure was a gross violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Russia Threatens to Reciprocate US Seizure of Russian Diplomatic Compound