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Russia Preparing To Retaliate For U.S. Seizure Of Diplomatic Compounds

The Russian riverfront compound in Maryland seized by the United States

Moscow is preparing measures to retaliate against Washington's decision to seize two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States last year, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on June 28.

In December, the United States seized two Russian diplomatic compounds in the New York and Maryland countryside and ordered the expulsion of 35 Russians and their family members in retaliation for harassment of U.S. diplomats in Moscow and alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election campaign.

Moscow, which denies the alleged offenses, did not retaliate immediately, saying it would wait to see if relations improved under President Donald Trump.

"Retaliatory measures are being prepared. As you understand, such a decision on the issue won't be made only by the Foreign Ministry," ministry spokswoman Maria Zakharova said on the state-run Rossiya 1 channel.

Zakharova said Washington realizes that Moscow will retaliate, as Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov demanded the return of the diplomatic compounds in talks with his counterpart, U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, recently.

Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported this month that Moscow may seize U.S. diplomatic property in the Russian capital and complicate life for an Anglo-American school unless Washington hands back the two diplomatic compounds in the United States before July.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and TASS