16:21 GMT26 September 2020
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    US Senator John McCain said on Friday the United States should push for tougher sanctions against Russia amid reports that the Trump administration is moving toward returning two diplomatic compounds frozen by the previous Obama administration.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the two properties in the US state of Maryland and outside New York City could be handed back to Russian officials for diplomatic purposes.

    According to the report, the Trump administration originally linked the return of the sites to Moscow allowing the construction of a new US consulate in St. Petersburg, but is now considering handing them back over with some conditions, including the removal of diplomatic immunity.

    "Russia's done nothing to deserve relief of punishment for election interference- we should pursue stronger sanctions," McCain, who is known as one of the most anti-Russian politicians in the US, stated via Twitter.

    Former President Barack Obama announced on December 29 that 35 Russian diplomats were being expelled and the compounds seized, accusing Moscow of using the sites for "intelligence-related purposes."

    Obama said the measures were taken in response to Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Russian officials have called the allegations absurd.


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    sanctions, John McCain, United States, Russia
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