Trump administration may return USA compounds to Russian Federation
- Author: Megan Austin Jun 02, 2017,
Jun 02, 2017, 2:11
Donald Trump is preparing to return to the Kremlin ownership over two properties in NY and Maryland from which Russian diplomats were expelled by the Obama administration in response to Moscow's interference in the 2016 presidential election, The Washington Post reported Wednesday night.
"All Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions", Obama said, adding, "Such activities have consequences".
The U.S. intelligence community publicly concluded a week later that Russian President Vladimir Putin had directly ordered an influence campaign meant to sway the outcome of last year's White House contest in favor of Mr. Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Former President Barack Obama slapped these punishments on Russian Federation in December specifically because Moscow was meddling in the United States election in order to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
In December 2016, Obama signed an executive order expelling 35 Russian diplomats from the US and denying further Russian access to the two compounds.
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The compound closures had outraged Russian President Vladimir Putin's administration. "That's why they kicked out 35 diplomats who may have been spies". "Trump would put Americans at risk and send an unmistakable message to foreign powers that attacks on our election process will go unpunished".
In response to reports in the U.S. and in Russian Federation that the handover is imminent, the State Department told NBC News, "The U.S. and Russian Federation have reached no agreements", and the next meeting between the two countries will be at the end of the month in St. Petersburg.
The implementation of sanctions began in 2014 in response to Russia annexing the Crimea territory of Ukraine and expanded as Russian active measures to the USA and European Union and its military aggression toward its neighbors continued.
The Trump administration has not announced a decision on the matter.
On May 22, the Russian embassy in the USA tweeted out a warning that their government would take aggressive action if their compounds were not restored. "They were also sensitive compartmented information facilities and intelligence collection facilities", said Malcolm Nance, an MSNBC terrorism analyst and retired Navy officer. "Otherwise, we will have to take counter measures".