In response to the recent round of USA sanctions against Russia, Moscow is planning to strike back by expelling at least 30 American diplomats and seizing U.S. state property in the country, a senior Kremlin official told Russian newspaper Izvestiya.
According to Isvestiya, the decision came after Trump and Putin's first meeting at the G20 Summit in Germany failed to produce an agreement on the lightening of USA sanctions against Russian Federation.
It is not clear which U.S. properties might be targeted, but they could possibly include a dacha complex owned by the United States embassy at Serebyany Bor outside Moscow.
Lavrov declined to elaborate on what steps the Kremlin might take against the U.S mission, but Russian media reported Tuesday that officials are considering expelling 30 USA diplomats and seizing embassy property, according to NPR's Moscow correspondent Lucian Kim.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is threatening "counter actions" against the United States over a pair of Russian diplomatic compounds seized by the United States a year ago.
In the meantime, Ryabkov told reporters that the longer the USA delays, the more likely it is that Moscow will deliver a "tough response". 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. "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.
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The Kremlin is getting ready to expel dozens of American diplomats from Russian Federation.
Two diplomatic compounds belonging to Russian Federation were closed down at the end of 2016 as part of the sanctions introduced by Barack Obama's administration over Russia's alleged interference in the United States presidential election, which Moscow has repeatedly denied, Sputnik reported.
Later in December, the Russian Foreign Ministry proposed expelling 35 USA diplomats as a tit-for-tat measure, but President Putin rejected the suggestion and called the move by the outgoing Obama administration a provocation. The US closed Russian intelligence compounds in NY and Maryland.
The matter was not resolved during the Putin-Trump talks in Hamburg, Germany.
However, the U.S. ambassador's Spaso House residence and the Anglo-American School in St Petersburg would not be affected.