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NEW YORK, July 18. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters after meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon that Moscow and Washington were close to reaching an agreement on Russian diplomatic compounds seized by the US, CNN reported on Monday.
According to CNN, Ryabkov responded "Almost, almost" to the question whether the sides had managed to agree on the return of Russia’s diplomatic property. The two diplomats spent almost two-and-a-half hours in talks in Washington on Monday. There were no immediate official statements.
In late December 2016, the Obama administration introduced a new round of sanctions against some Russian companies, the Federal Security Service and the Main Intelligence Agency of Russia’s General Staff. Besides that, US authorities expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland. Washington attributed these sanctions to cyber-attacks against US political institutions, accusing Russia of being involved. However, Moscow fully rejected all allegations.
The Russian personnel’s access to these compounds was barred. Moscow has not given a tit-for-tat response so far.
Russia is ready to significantly reduce stuff levels at the US embassy in Moscow, as well as seize embassy’s dacha and warehouse in retaliation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.