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Moscow threatens retaliation if Trump doesn't return compounds

16 July 2017

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that it was prepared to toss out American officials from the country and close down a number of U.S. properties in retaliation if two of its recreational compounds in the United States were not reopened.

CBS News said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters Moscow "will have to take reciprocal measures" if the issue regarding the compounds was not resolved.

Addressing reporters in Moscow, Ms. Zakharova warned Russian Federation will soon react in kind if the Trump administration continues to keep in place sanctions that resulted in the abrupt seizure last December of compounds in NY and Maryland along with the expulsion of 35 supposed diplomats. "We know how to respond".

Outgoing US president Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed the two Russian diplomatic estates late previous year amid allegations that Russian hackers committed cyberattacks to influence the US presidential election in favour of Donald Trump, who had pledged to significantly improve ties with Russia.

Adding to this, Obama administration announced that it would close two Russian waterfront compounds outside Washington and NY, describing them as spy nests, CNN reported.

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Zakharova described Obama's moves as a "provocation" intended at derailing Trump's attempts to improve bilateral relations.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon are scheduled to meet on Monday for much-anticipated talks that Moscow abruptly canceled last month in response to new Ukraine-related sanctions announced by the Trump administration. "Half a year has passed and we don't see any concrete steps". She also criticized the United States for not issuing visas to diplomats who are supposed to replaced the expelled staff.

The State Department wants a deal that could include restarting USA adoptions of Russian children. President Obama said the compounds were being "used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes".

The compounds in question include facilities in Maryland's Eastern Shore and Long Island, New York.

Moscow threatens retaliation if Trump doesn't return compounds