U.S. President Donald Trump's administration may return seized Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States if Moscow fulfills its commitments to a cease-fire deal in Syria, Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, has told CNN.
"We want to give collaboration and cooperation a chance," Gorka said on July 13, specifically linking the return of Russia's diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland with a recently announced joint U.S.-Russia cease-fire deal in southwest Syria.
"If we see good faith, remember more than 400,000 people have been killed in Syria. That is horrific. If we can see acts of good faith come out of the Kremlin with regards to things such as a cease-fire, then perhaps there is a chance for what [Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson wants to see happen, which is an improvement in relations between our two capitals," he said.
Former President Obama seized the compounds in December 2016, claiming they were used for spying, as part of a series of measures punishing Russia for allegedly meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
Russia has made return of the compounds a top priority.