WaPost: Russians Might Get US Diplomatic Compounds Back

Lucy Bush
June 2, 2017

R.C. Hammond, a top State Department adviser, told the Washington Post that "the US and Russian Federation have reached no agreements", and senior officials won't meet again until June.

A senior US official who deals with foreign policy told NBC News that he hadn't heard about the purported initiative to restore Russia's rights at the two compounds, but he said the Trump administration is intent on improving relations despite investigations into alleged Russian interference.

The Obama administration had accused Russian Federation of using the Maryland and NY facilities for "intelligence-related purposes".

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The White House is now exploring turning the estates - one of which is in Oyster Bay - back over to Moscow, the Washington Post reported.

This subsequently sparked suspicion of whether the communication between Flynn and the Russian ambassador breached U.S. law, which prohibits private United States citizens from engaging in diplomatic disputes with foreign nationals. But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is no longer insisting on the resumption of construction as a prerequisite for returning the compounds. "The next meeting will be in June in St. Petersburg". They gave the foreign government 24 hours to evacuate both compounds, "as punishment for Moscow's interference in the 2016 presidential election", according to the newspaper's article. Administration officials have said that the sanctions will remain in place in the near future, but a long-term decision has yet to be made.

The Trump administration may return two Russian compounds in NY and Maryland, according to a new report. Kremlin spokesman Yury Ushakov said Wednesday that Russia understands "the hard internal political situation for the current administration", but would explore options to retaliate for what it considers the "expropriation" of its property, according to Russian news outlet Sputnik. The Obama administration characterized the properties as such when it revoked Russian ownership in late December as part of broader sanctions related to the election meddling.

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The two compounds in question include a 14-acre estate on Long Island and a 45-acre swath of land about 90 miles outside of D.C., near the Corsica and Chester rivers.

However, Russia said the facilities were being used for rest and recreation for embassy and United Nations employees and to hold official events.

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