In early June, the United States government denied reports it had reached an agreement with Russian Federation to return to it the two diplomatic compounds in question - one in Maryland and one in NY - to Russian Federation.
Diplomatic compounds in NY and Maryland were closed by then-President Barack Obama as punishment for Russian efforts to sway the 2016 election after intelligence agencies determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the influence campaign to "undermine public faith in the United States democratic process". Putin did not immediately retaliate over the expulsions and property seizure, saying he would wait to see what the Trump administration would do.
Russia's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement today warning that they believe there are too many U.S. spies operating in Moscow under diplomatic cover, and that they may decide to expel some of those "diplomats" soon in retaliation for United States moves late past year.
"We have a way of responding", she told a news briefing. "One of our options, apart from a tit-for-tat expulsion of Americans, would be to even out the numbers".
Russia is hoping that Shannon will have "detailed suggestions on how to resolve the situation" with the Russian property in the US, Zakharova said.
Peskov compared repeated media coverage of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion to "a long-running soap opera, which can compete with the most successful TV series aired in the United States".
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Moscow has repeatedly demanded the return of the properties, and the issue became hot again after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump held their first meeting last week in Germany.
The White House aide explained that the administration is not "looking to create new enemies" and that they would "like to have better relations with Russian Federation".
"If we can see acts of good faith come out of the Kremlin with regards to things such as the ceasefire, then perhaps there is a chance for what Rex Tillerson wants to see happen, which is an improvement in relations between our two capitals", Gorka said. "If our American partners do not understand it in a different way, at some point we will have to take steps in this direction".
The State Department wants a deal that could include restarting USA adoptions of Russian children.