Russian foreign minister calls seizure of United States compounds 'daylight robbery'


The U.S. and Russian Federation will sit down together again for a high-level meeting to deal with "irritants" in the relationship, amid heightened tension over diplomatic compounds in the U.S. that belong to Russian Federation.

The issue of the closure of the two Russian compounds is on the agenda again in Washington on Monday, with a meeting between U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

The Kremlin has accused the United States of setting conditions on the return of the compounds in NY and Maryland.

Then-US President Barack Obama ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and kicked out 35 diplomats from the country in response to alleged Kremlin hacking of the US election in 2016.

However, hopes that Mr Trump will soon act on his campaign pledges to boost relations have faded as any ties to Moscow have become toxic.

According to Sputnik, a senior official from the White House said Washington is going to give back Russia's diplomatic properties only under the condition that it will receive something in return from Moscow.

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Security members stand guard, December 31, 2016, at a Russian compound in Upper Brookville, N.Y., one day after the compound was closed.

FBI is investigating contacts between his campaign and Russia, Trump is moving toward returning the compounds. The legislation is now awaiting a vote in the House, where it is being held up.

The Russian President held off from retaliating at the time and said he would wait to see how Mr Trump reacted after he came into the White House.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov slammed the United States for refusing to return diplomatic properties seized after Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, calling it "daylight robbery", according to a report on Monday.

For the USA, the set of grievances includes an end to Russian harassment of US diplomats and a lift on the ban of Americans adopting Russian children.

Russian Federation has refrained from a retaliatory response, but Lavrov said last week, "If Washington decides not to solve this issue, we will have to take counter actions", possibly by blocking use of a country house and storage facility used by U.S. Embassy personnel in Moscow. The two men met once before in NY in May as the Trump administration has sought better relations with Moscow.