Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Russian embassy threatens to close American facilities in Russia

Russia’s American embassy demanded that the United States return diplomatic compounds seized by the Obama administration amid spying accusations last year, warning that it would retaliate if America refuses. The embassy’s official Twitter levied the threat along with a picture that appears to be of Americans at a U.S. compound in Moscow. “If Washington fails to restore diplomatic immunity of [Russian] property there will be a tit-for-tat response in regard to U.S. facilities in Russia,” the tweet reads. America seized and shuttered two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York last December in retribution for revelations that Russians hacked and released internal communications by the Democratic National Committee in an attempt to destabilize the presidential election. Then-President Obama accused the Russians at the time of using the two compounds for “intelligence-related purposes.” The administration also expelled 35 Russians accused by the administration of being “intelligence operatives.” The Russians did not immediately retaliate, instead releasing a statement that dismissed the Obama administration and said the country would wait until then-President-elect Trump took office. The Washington Post reported this week that the Trump administration is weighing returning the compounds.



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