Moscow is considering countermeasures in response to the confiscation of Russian diplomatic property in the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“We will certainly take steps to ensure that the truth wins, and justice and international law are again in force,” Lavrov said, pointing out that “a shame is that such a large country, such as the United States, the advocate of international law, leaves the situation unresolved” Tass.
The head of Russian diplomacy recalled that the decision to expel Russian diplomats and confiscate Russian diplomatic assets in the United States was made by the former US administration led by then President Barack Obama.
“These were the trials of this administration that tried to thwart Russian-American relations to the maximum and made every effort to find the administration of (current President Donald) Trump in a trap,” Lavrov said.
At the end of December 2016, the Obama administration introduced a new set of sanctions against some Russian companies, and in addition, the US authorities expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian diplomatic facilities in New York and Maryland, the Russian agency recalls.
Washington explained these sanctions with allegations of cyber attacks on US political institutions accusing Russia of engaging in such attacks, while Moscow completely rejected all these charges.
Spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zaharova, said earlier that these facilities always enjoyed diplomatic immunity, and that their seizure represented a gross violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
“We are now thinking about special steps. I do not think that this should be discussed publicly, with due respect to the mass media and your desire to come up with this information,” Lavrov told reporters today.
A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said today that about 30 US diplomats could be sent home from Russia by reciprocal measures, and US assets in Russia could be seized.
According to the Russian newspaper, Moscow is compelling such a decision to Washington’s decision not to return the property of the Russian embassy, and this issue has not been solved even during last week’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg.