Kremlin hopes United States finds 'political wisdom' to solve diplomatic row

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

In December 2016, Washington imposed a number of restrictive measures on Russia over Moscow's alleged meddling in the USA presidential election, including sanctions against several Russian individuals and entities, as well as the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States.

Kremlin spokesman Dmity Peskov said he hopes "political wisdom" will prevail.

Moscow has said any attempts by Washington to hold onto the property goes against global law and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it amounted to "daylight robbery".

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, is due to meet US Undersecretary of State, Thomas Shannon, today to discuss the matter.

The Trump administration has tied returning the compounds to Russian Federation if Moscow shows "acts of good faith" in Syria.

FBI is investigating contacts between his campaign and Russia, Trump is moving toward returning the compounds.

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He said Moscow was using the compounds for "intelligence-related purposes".

According to Sputnik, a senior official from the White House said Washington is going to give back Russia's diplomatic properties only under the condition that it will receive something in return from Moscow.

They have threatened to retaliate and indicated their actions may depend on the outcome of the meeting between Shannon and Ryabkov.

Obama sought to "reset" troubled relations with Moscow after he entered office in 2009, but ties were badly strained by Moscow's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 and support for separatists whose war against Kyiv's forces has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014, among other issues.

United States intelligence services believe Russian Federation ordered cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Hillary Clinton's campaign and other political organizations, in an attempt to influence the election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

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