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Moscow to expel 30 US Diplomats, freeze assets

Moscow to expel 30 US Diplomats, freeze assets

Lavrov also emphasized that although the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries "are not yet prepared for such a talk", "positive trends in their ranks" can already been seen.

A meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Shannon is scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg, and if the crisis regarding the Russian diplomatic mission is not resolved there, then mirror sanctions will be imposed, the official told Russian daily Izvestia.

In the meantime, Ryabkov told reporters that the longer the United States delays, the more likely it is that Moscow will deliver a "tough response".

The Kremlin may expel dozens of American diplomats from Russian Federation and freeze some USA assets in response to its seized diplomatic properties in the US.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is threatening "counter actions" against the United States over a pair of Russian diplomatic compounds seized by the United States past year.

Moscow is weighing whether to expel American diplomats and seize US embassy property in retaliation for former President Obama's decision to kick out Russian officials and reclaim two diplomatic compounds suspected of being intelligence bases in NY and Maryland. Russia has called on its partners to check the maps of military facilities and forces in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after an informal ministerial meeting of the European security agency OSCE on Tuesday.

The paper also reports that while the administration plans to seize the American summer house in a forest region outside of Moscow and a warehouse in the center of the city, it will not touch the residence of the American ambassador and the American worldwide school in St. Petersburg.

Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the issue of the Obama sanctions with US President Donald Trump when they met in Hamburg on 7 July, Izvestia reported.

In December the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two intelligence compounds. The US closed Russian intelligence compounds in NY and Maryland.

According to the newspaper, while the administration plans to seize the American summer house in a forest region outside of Moscow and a warehouse in the center of the city, it will not touch the residence of the American ambassador and the American global school in St. Petersburg.

"The return of these two facilities to Russian Federation while the Kremlin refuses to address its influence campaign against the United States would embolden President Vladimir Putin and invite a unsafe escalation in the Kremlin's destabilizing actions against democracies worldwide", read the letter signed by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) and Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), as cited by AP.