Russia Could File Financial Claim Over US Expropriation of Diplomatic Compounds

02 June, 2017, 01:42 | Author: Clay Erickson

Washington D.C. [U.S.A], June 1: U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is mulling to hand back two diplomatic compounds near NY and Maryland's Eastern Shore to Russian Federation.

Senior Tillerson adviser R.C. Hammond told the Post that "U.S. and Russian Federation have reached no agreements", but Moscow is talking like it's a done deal.

Read the full report at the Washington Post. However, shortly after, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that they had "dropped any linkage" between the compounds and the consulate, according to the Post.

Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told the Sputnik news agency that Russian Federation had the right to take back the St. Petersburg property "if these steps are not somehow adjusted by the US side".

The Trump White House is reportedly seriously considering allowing Russian Federation to resume its use of two diplomatic facilities that were shuttered during the final weeks of the Obama administration in December 2016. "Washington Post is among them", Ryabkov said. If the Russians are allowed to reenter the compound, the Trump administration may restrict their activities, with one possible step being to revoke the properties' previous diplomatic immunity.

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Another facility, in Centreville, Md., was also emptied as part of the sanctions.

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Its officials were thrown out of the compounds in December by the erstwhile Obama administration for Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections. "Manipulations around this matter are absolutely inadmissible and discredit Washington Post as a source of public information", the Russian diplomat added.

Indeed, the compounds are now vacant because President Barack Obama's administration believed they were "used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes" in the election, as President Obama explained in a statement issued December 29 when he closed the buildings on 24 hours' notice.

In December 2016, Obama signed an executive order expelling 35 Russian diplomats from the US and denying further Russian access to the two compounds.

Kislyak, who met with multiple other members of the Trump campaign, is set to leave his post as Russian ambassador in Washington, which he assumed in 2008.

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