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Russian senator blasts US for cynical approach towards diplomatic property spat

July 14, 17:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In late 2016, the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia declaring 35 staff members of the Russian Embassy

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© AP Photo/Susan Walsh

MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. Head of Russian Federation Council’s (upper house of parliament) International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev has described as cynical the conditions set forth by officials in Washington regarding the return of the Russian diplomatic property in the US.

"The White House hinted that, if some acts of good faith, in particular, with regard to Syria’s ceasefire are seen, the chances for returning Russian diplomatic property may arise. That looks perhaps no less cynical than the very fact of its illegal seizure," the senator wrote on his Facebook page. He added that attempts are being made to pin the blame for the violations of international norms by Washington on Russia, though it is said that it should help the US put an end to these violations.

"I can assume that even hinting at possible steps towards cooperation between our country is currently seen in the US as political suicide. However, diplomatic relations are not an area where someone could blackmail someone else and set forth conditions. There are norms that are to be complied with even by warring parties, and there can be no bargaining here, that’s for sure," he concluded.

Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to US President Donald Trump, earlier told reporters that the US administration is weighing the return of two Russian compounds in the US and can resort to such steps, if Moscow shows "acts of good faith" with regard to Syria.

In late 2016, the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia declaring 35 staff members of the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General in San Francisco persona non grata and seizing two Russian diplomatic compounds - one in Maryland and the other one in New York. Russians were denied access to these compounds. Moscow has not taken tit-for-tat measures so far.

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