Moscow says preparing 'tough response' to U.S. closure of Russian diplomatic compounds

Russia is ready to expel about 30 USA diplomats and seize U.S. state property in retaliation for Washington's sanctions, Russian officials say.

The US had also expelled 35 Russian diplomats in December in response to alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. If the compromise is not found there, we will have to take such measures, ” a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told the Izvestiya newspaper.

According to the newspaper, Russian officials had hoped that President Trump would reverse his predecessor's decision after settling into office, but those hopes have begun to wane.

Lavrov's remarks came just days after President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Germany.

The measures were a response to alleged Russian meddling in the USA election.

Russian Federation refrained from a direct response to the measure as it came in the final months of Obama in office while everyone was expecting how new president Donald Trump may deal with the case.

The Obama administration said it took the action against Russian Federation in response to alleged interference in the U.S. elections.

An unnamed Russian diplomat told Izvestia that in retaliation Russia could seize a U.S. government dacha (country villa) at Serebryany Bor, to the northwest of Moscow, and a USA warehouse in the city itself.

"There is a preliminary agreement on holding a meeting between Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ryabkov and USA under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon in St. Petersburg".

Citing sources it has within the Russian Foreign Ministry, Izvestia reported that Russia is planning to expel some 30 United States diplomats and seize USA diplomatic property in response. "Now, we must draw the line and take tit-for-tat measures", the deputy head of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, Andrey Klimov, told Izvestia.

However, the USA ambassador's Spaso House residence and the Anglo-American School in St Petersburg would not be affected. The US closed Russian intelligence compounds in NY and Maryland.

  • Joey Payne