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MOSCOW, July 18. /TASS/. The United States must return Russia’s diplomatic property in has seized, without any conditions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.
"This is our property and they must give it back to us unconditionally, without any additional demands and conditions," he stressed.
He turned down media speculation that in an exchange for the return of its diplomatic property Russia should allocate a land plot in its second largest city of St. Petersburg for the construction of a new building of the US consulate general. "Any conditioning or tie-ups are inadmissible, no matter whether it is about a land plot for construction , other property or anything else," he said.
In late December 2016, the Barack Obama administration slapped new 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 compounds in the States of New York and Maryland. Russians were denied access to these compounds. Moscow has taken no tit-for-tat measures so far.
The issue of the return of Russian diplomatic property was in focus at Monday’s consultations in Washington between Ryabkov and his US counterpart Thomas Shannon.