Russian Federation mulls expulsion of 30 United States diplomats over seized compounds

Russia may deport 30 USA diplomats in a retaliatory move against the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds, a foreign ministry official said.

The issue of the Russian diplomatic property in the United States was raised during the last week's meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his USA counterpart Donald Trump.

It is not clear which USA properties might be targeted, but they could possibly include a dacha complex owned by the United States embassy at Serebyany Bor outside Moscow.

Last year, the newspaper reported that Russia was considering freezing the US Embassy house in northwestern Moscow as well as a warehouse also located in the Russian capital. Russia has called on its partners to check the maps of military facilities and forces in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after an informal ministerial meeting of the European security agency OSCE on Tuesday.

The expulsions and seizure of Russian property in the United States came after reports emerged of an alleged support by the Kremlin for hackers that tampered with the computers of the camp of USA presidential election candidate Hillary Clinton, a move that was thought to have hugely undermined the chances of the Democratic Party candidate and propelled Trump to the White House.

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The Kremlin may expel dozens of American diplomats from Russian Federation and freeze some USA assets in response to its seized diplomatic properties in the US.

Russia said it was "outrageous" that the United States has not yet handed back two Russian intelligence compounds seized in Maryland under the Obama administration, BBC reported on Tuesday.

The US decision, said the report, forced Russian Federation to take a tit-for-tat response. "Now, we must draw the line and take tit-for-tat measures", the deputy head of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, Andrey Klimov, told Izvestia.

In December the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two intelligence compounds.

In the meantime, the current U.S. administration still faces pressure from some parts of the establishment in regard to the Russian diplomatic compounds issue.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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