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Insufficient Funds: Trump Can't Cash Obama's Final 'Bargaining Chip' With Russia

© AP Photo / Alexander F. YuanA car with diplomatic license plates drives out of a compound near Glen Cove, N.Y., on Long Island on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. Russia maintains this and another weekend retreat for its United Nations diplomats about an hour's drive outside New York City — each in one of Long Island's old Gold Coast mansions. U.S. officials didn't clarify which of the two countryside compounds would be closed
A car with diplomatic license plates drives out of a compound near Glen Cove, N.Y., on Long Island on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. Russia maintains this and another weekend retreat for its United Nations diplomats about an hour's drive outside New York City — each in one of Long Island's old Gold Coast mansions. U.S. officials didn't clarify which of the two countryside compounds would be closed - Sputnik International
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The disagreement between Washington and Moscow about the return of Russia's diplomatic property in the US will be difficult to resolve since both sides look to be digging their heels in, political scientist Grigory Dobromelov told Radio Sputnik.

Killenworth, an estate built in 1913 for George du Pont Pratt and purchased by the former Soviet Union in 1951, is seen in Glen Cove, New York, on December 30, 2016. Killenworth is one of two Russian compounds on the North Shore of Long Island with Norwich House, in Upper Brookville, being closed to Russian officials as part of the sanctions ordered by US President Barack Obama in retaliation for suspected Russian hacking during the US elections - Sputnik International
Kremlin: US Putting Conditions on Return of Diplomatic Property is Unacceptable
The US is willing to give back Russia's diplomatic properties in the US under the condition that it will receive something in return from Moscow, a senior official from the White House told Sputnik on Monday.

In December, the Obama administration seized the properties and expelled 35 Russian diplomats, alleging that they were involved in election interference, an accusation which Moscow denies.

The White House offer to return the property in return for some kind of concession is "unacceptable," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

"We have already noted that we deem it absolutely unacceptable to set any conditions for the return of the diplomatic property. We believe that it must be returned without any conditions, without any negotiations," Peskov said.

The Moscow Kremlin towers. (File) - Sputnik International
Moscow Warns of Response to Seizure of Russian Diplomatic Property in US
Director of the Institute for Applied Political Studies, political scientist Grigory Dobromelov, told Radio Sputnik that the issue will be tricky to solve, because both sides won't be placated by symbolic concessions.

"I think, most likely, the problem won't be solved: there are too many contradictions, the sides are too far apart. As was clear from the very beginning of this story, this is politics, it is Obama's 'parting gift.'" 

"Going forward, the issue is what they are ready to 'exchange.' Russia and the US are in a period of rather complicated negotiations regarding Syria and regarding economic issues. In many respects, this issue is an additional 'bargaining chip' that Obama left for Trump."

"But now, both diplomatic corps are in a paradigm of 'real politics': both Russian and American diplomats aren't paying attention to rhetorical devices and symbolic moves and gestures, they are [only] interested in getting real political resolutions from their opponents, " Dobromelov said.

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