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Lavrov hopes US will respect its liabilities concerning Russian diplomatic property

BRUSSELS, July 11. /TASS/. Russia hope the United States will finally show respect to its own international liabilities in the situation with Russian diplomatic property, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, commenting on Washington’s seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States.

"We hope the United States, as a country advocating the supremacy of law, will respect its own international liabilities," Lavrov stressed.

"If it doesn’t happen, if we see that Washington doesn’t think it necessary to make such a step [to return Russian diplomatic property], naturally, we will take response measures. This is the law of diplomacy, the law of international life: reciprocity is the basis for all relations," 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 closing two Russian compounds in the States of New York and Maryland. The Russian personnel’s access to these compounds was closed on December 30. Washington linked these sanctions with cyber attacks against US political institutions, blaming Russia for carrying out these attacks.

In this context, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed that these buildings had always enjoyed diplomatic inviolability and their seizure constituted a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.