Russia demands US return diplomat compounds before high-level talks
The Kremlin today said Washington must unconditionally restore its access to diplomatic compounds in the United States ahead of high-level talks on the issue.
Russia is angry that Washington is still barring its diplomats from using two compounds in the states of New York and Maryland after then president Barack Obama in December ordered the ban on access in response to suspected Russian meddling in the US election.
“We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property, we consider that it must be returned without any conditions and talking,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
He spoke as Thomas Shannon, the US State Department’s third-in-command, was set to host Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov in Washington later Monday.
Diplomats quoted by Russian news agencies said the issue of the residential complexes would be on their agenda.
The talks between Shannon and Ryabkov were earlier scheduled for June but Russia cancelled them, citing new US sanctions linked to the conflict in Ukraine.
When President Vladimir Putin and US counterpart Donald Trump met for the first time at the G20 summit in Hamburg this month, the Kremlin strongman raised the question “quite unambiguously,” Peskov said.
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