Media: Moscow ready to expel about 30 American diplomats in response to closure of its diplomatic facilities in the U.S

Moscow has decided on retaliatory measures against Washington in the matter of the closure of Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States, reports Izvestia newspaper, citing a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The source stated that Russia can take extreme measures in this matter and respond “in kind.” Moscow was prompted to take such action by Washington’s decision not to return to Russia its two diplomatic residences in the states of Maryland and New York that were closed in December of last year. At that time, the Obama administration decided to expel 35 Russian diplomats in response to Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election.

As a retaliatory measure, Moscow plans to expel about 30 U.S. diplomats and seize American property in Russia. It involves a U.S. owned house in Serebryany Bor and a warehouse in Moscow, the newspaper reports. Spaso House, the residence of the U.S. ambassador, and the ambassadorial Anglo-American school in St. Petersburg will not be touched, adds Izvestia.

The newspaper’s source said that there is a preliminary agreement on a meeting in St. Petersburg between Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and U.S. First Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Shannon. However, according to the source, if no compromise is reached, Moscow will have to take such measures.

In early June, The Washington Post, citing its sources, reported that U.S. President Donald Trump may restore Russia’s diplomatic facilities. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on May 13th that Washington promised to provide Moscow with proposals for “unblocking” the issue. However, the matter has not yet been settled.

  diplomatic property, Expulsion of diplomats, USA