Russia threatens retaliation over US compound seizures


Moscow said Tuesday that it could retaliate against the U.S. over the closure of Russian compounds on American soil.

In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated that Moscow would keep its options open following the closure of two compounds in New York and Maryland last December.

"Russia stressed that if Washington does not address this and other concerns, including persistent efforts to hinder the operation of Russia's diplomatic missions, Russia has the right to take retaliatory measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity," the ministry said.

The statement came a day after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov met State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon in Washington.

"The two officials continued to look for ways to resolve pending issues, specifically regarding the illegal seizure of Russian property in the United States by the Barack Obama administration," the statement said.

In late December, the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two rural compounds outside New York City and Washington D.C. in response to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign.

U.S. President Donald Trump has cast doubts on Russian interference, saying he wants to build closer ties with Russia.

Ryabkov and Shannon also discussed a number of issues related to strategic stability.

"Russia reiterated to its U.S. partners its readiness to resume regular dialogue on this issue after it was suspended by the previous administration," the Foreign Ministry said. "It is now up to Washington to take the relevant steps."

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