March 23, 2018

Russian Federation to seize U.S. properties in retaliation over sanctions

02 August 2017, 12:53 | Marta Robbins

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Russia's Foreign Ministry ordered a reduction in the number of us diplomats in Russian Federation on Friday and said it was closing down a USA recreational retreat in response to fresh sanctions against Russian Federation.

The Senate voted to slap sanctions on Russian Federation over the country's role in meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and Russian Federation fired back today by ordering USA diplomats to leave.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by telephone that Russia was ready to normalise relations with the United States and to cooperate on major global issues.

Anthony Scaramucci, Donald Trump's new communications director, told CNN on Thursday that the President may veto bipartisan sanctions against Russian Federation, breaking with the widespread approval the sanctions received on Capitol Hill.

House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement late Wednesday to get the sanctions legislation against Iran, Russia and North Korea through the Senate without further amendment, avoiding a potential clash with the House. But faced with near-total consensus among Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the White House blinked, saying this week that Trump was "reviewing" the bill. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the bill's passage was long overdue, a jab at Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress. McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called Putin a murderer and a thug.

The overwhelming support for the bill, which was voted under special procedures to pass with a two-thirds majority, forces Trump to obtain lawmakers' permission before easing any sanctions on Moscow. They include both Americans and Russians hired to work in the diplomatic offices.

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The move came following United States lawmakers' decision to approve a new round of sanctions against Russian Federation.

Russia will give a "mirror response" should the United States introduce new unilateral measures to cut the numbers of Russian diplomats in the country.

Russia's Foreign Ministry dismissed the new sanctions as "creating unfair competitive advantages for the USA economy". Vladimir Putin on a visit to Finland in a joint conference regretted the deterioration of US-Russia relations but said that Russia will respond.

It said Russian Federation has done its "utmost" to normalize bilateral relations and develop cooperation with the US on the important issues.

The sanctions however did not touch upon cooperation in space exploration or, rather, the products and services NASA obtains from Russian Federation.

Russia had originally threatened the ouster of diplomats and seizure of property in December after the USA ordered 35 Russian envoys out of the US and seized two embassy compounds outside NY and Washington in protest of alleged Russian meddling in the election. CNN International reported this news.

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