US denies visas to Russian replacements for expelled diplomats

Vladimir Putin Donald Trump

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the country was prepared to banish American diplomats if the United States (US) does not undo its decision to expel 35 Russian diplomats and block access to Russian diplomatic estates.

In December 2016, former President Barack Obama ordered 35 Russian officials to leave the United States and shut down two Russian owned estates that the American security establishment believed were used as a spy base for the Kremlin.

Russia is hoping that Shannon will have "detailed suggestions on how to resolve the situation" with the Russian property in the U.S., Zakharova said.

The ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday that Moscow "will have to take reciprocal measures" if the issue is not resolved.

At the time, Russian President Putin said that his would not respond in kind, suggesting that he expected a different relationship with Trump administration. She also criticized the United States for not issuing visas to diplomats who are supposed to replaced the expelled staff. "As for the measures - the number of personnel at the US embassy in Moscow significantly exceeds the number of our personnel working in Washington".

Addressing reporters in Moscow, Ms. Zakharova warned Russian Federation will soon react in kind if the Trump administration continues to keep in place sanctions that resulted in the abrupt seizure last December of compounds in NY and Maryland along with the expulsion of 35 supposed diplomats. "The fact is we may not share the same philosophy". Chuck Schumer's obstructionism is a de-facto government shutdown MORE (N.Y.) urged a senior State Department official in a letter not to return the compounds.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly told Russian diplomats the compounds no longer related to future construction of the consulate.

"This situation is outrageous", he said.

Related news: