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Russians Might Get US Diplomatic Compounds Back — WaPost

President Obama ordered Russian to abandon the compounds on December 29, the same day his administration announced the expulsion of almost three dozen alleged "intelligence operatives" amid lingering concerns involving Moscow's role in last year's White House race. They are directly related to the very Russian activities involving Trump and the 2016 United States presidential election that are now under investigation.

The Trump administration spoke with Russian officials early last month and said it would consider returning the properties if Moscow lifts sanctions of its own so that the US may construct a new consulate on a particular parcel of land in St. Petersburg, the Post reported.

Nance absolutely disagreed with the Trump administration's apparent decision to return the facilities, and he questioned the timing as suspicious in light of the investigation into campaign collusion with Russian Federation.

Moscow did not receive any official information from Washington on the return of Russian diplomatic properties in the U.S., Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

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. Soon after, the US changed its position, and Tillerson told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the administration would not tie the return of the compounds to the consulate, according to people with knowledge of the discussion.

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"[Former] President Obama closed those two compounds because of Russia's attacks on our democracy", he said in a statement.

R.C. Hammond, senior communications adviser for the State Department, told the newspaper in a statement that "The U.S. and Russian Federation have reached no agreements".

For decades, Russian Federation asserted that it used the compounds as luxury event spaces where United Nations officials and ambassadors could enjoy recreational activities and carouse in comfort, but according to the Post, the USA has long suspected the properties were actually spy sites. And while that scandal unfolds, it appears the Russian government is attempting to expand its ability to strike at the U.S.

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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