On December 29, 2016, the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats and denied Russian diplomatic staff access to the NY and Maryland compounds in what the then-US President Barack Obama called a response to the Russian government's "aggressive harassment of US officials and cyber operations aimed at the US election".

The Obama administration seized the recreational compounds in 2016 to punish the Kremlin for tampering in the presidential election.

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.

The U.S. authorities seized two Russian diplomatic compounds, one in Maryland and another on Long Island, at the same time.

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

In the meantime, Ryabkov told reporters that the longer the USA delays, the more likely it is that Moscow will deliver a "tough response".

Moscow is considering retaliatory measures, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday, without disclosing further details.

Russian Federation was already under U.S. sanctions. That could complicate what Mr Trump says he wants to achieve: better relations with Russian Federation. The actions were taken amid Moscow's alleged interference in the United States presidential election, which Russian Federation has repeatedly denied.

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.

"There is a preliminary agreement on holding a meeting between Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ryabkov and USA under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon in St. Petersburg".

Quoting a Foreign Ministry source, the Izvestiya newspaper says the move is due to the failure to reach an agreement on two Russian diplomatic compounds in the USA seized by the outgoing Obama administration in December past year. The US closed Russian intelligence compounds in NY and Maryland. The subject was on the agenda of Putin's first face-to-face meeting with Trump in Hamburg, according to the Kremlin.

However, the USA ambassador's Spaso House residence and the Anglo-American School in St Petersburg would not be affected.


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