06:31 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova at a briefing

    Russia Could File Financial Claim Over US Expropriation of Diplomatic Compounds

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    Moscow could file financial claims over losses suffered when the United States froze two diplomatic compounds in December on allegations of 2016 election meddling, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — The United States is taking steps to give back to Russia two diplomatic compounds it froze back in December on allegations of Moscow's 2016 election meddling, US media cited its sources as saying.

    But the outlet said that before unfreezing the properties Washington would consider such options as scrapping their diplomatic immunity, which would give US police access to the buildings.

    "The Russian Foreign Ministry does not rule out the possibility of filing financial claims to the US because of the damage from the illegal blocking of Russian property," Zakharova said on a visit to the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency stand at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

    The compounds were bought by the Soviet government last century. But under the US law, the Office of Foreign Missions can restrict access to such properties.

    Barack Obama's administration imposed a series of punitive measures against Russia on December 29, 2016, including barring Russians from entering the compounds and expelling 35 diplomats.

    Obama said the measures were taken in response to Moscow's alleged interference in the US presidential elections. Russian officials called the allegations absurd.

    St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2017, Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, United States, Russia
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