Russia ‘ready to re­tal­i­ate’ over US row

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

in­g­ton does not re­move this and other ir­ri­tants, in­clud­ing con­tin­ued ob­sta­cles to the work of our diplo­matic in­sti­tu­tions, we re­serve the right to take re­tal­ia­tory mea­sures based on the prin­ci­ple of rec­i­proc­ity,” the state­ment said.

Russia wanted to re­sume reg­u­lar di­a­logue with the US about strate­gic sta­bil­ity too, it said, say­ing it was up to Wash­ing­ton to make a move on the is­sue.

When Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and US coun­ter­part Donald Trump met for the first time at the G20 Sum­mit in Ham­burg this month, Putin raised the ques­tion of the diplo­matic sites “quite un­am­bigu­ously”, Krem­lin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“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 on Mon­day.

“We still hope our Amer­i­can col­leagues will show po­lit­i­cal wis­dom and po­lit­i­cal will,” he said.

Those talks on Mon­day, which lasted three hours, had orig­i­nally been sched­uled for June, but Russia can­celed them at the time, cit­ing new US sanc­tions linked to the con­flict in Ukraine.

Af­ter the meet­ing, Ryabkov, asked by jour­nal­ists if the is­sue of the diplo­matic com­pounds had been re­solved, replied: “Al­most, al­most”.

There was no word from the US side.

‘Toxic’ in­ves­ti­ga­tions

When Obama an­nounced the sanc­tions in De­cem­ber, Putin held off from re­tal­i­at­ing, say­ing he would wait to see how Trump re­acted af­ter he came into the White House.

But hope that Trump would fol­low up on cam­paign pledges to boost re­la­tions have fiz­zled as any ties to Moscow have become toxic for the White House amid a mael­strom of US in­ves­ti­ga­tions into pos­si­ble col­lu­sion be­tween Russia and the Trump cam­paign.

Now Russia has ratch­eted up threats that it could be­lat­edly take re­venge by block­ing a coun­try house and a stor­age fa­cil­ity used by the US em­bassy in Moscow.

“If Wash­ing­ton de­cides not to solve this is­sue, we will have to take counter ac­tions,” For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov said last week.

Rus­sian For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Maria Zakharova com­plained last week that the US was also re­fus­ing to is­sue visas for Rus­sian diplo­mats to re­place those ex­pelled.

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