01:11 GMT01 October 2020
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    Moscow will have to respond tit-for-tat if Washington does not reinstate the diplomatic immunity of Russian diplomatic compounds seized last year, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Thursday.

    VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — Last week, US media suggested that Washington could be considering returning the two residential compounds to Russia but without the diplomatic immunity they previously enjoyed.

    "Russia's position on de facto confiscated Russian property on US territory is well-known… We demand for what was taken away illegally be returned to us immediately and we would also like to note that if it so happens that Washington does not restore the diplomatic immunity of our property, the response in regard to US property in Russia will be symmetric," Zakharova said.

    According to the spokeswoman, the US embassy in Moscow has already been notified of such a possibility.

    Zakharova also said that the US actions were in breach of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

    The spokeswoman said that the information on the possible removal of the immunity had not been confirmed by the US State Department yet.

    The two compounds were closed down in the end of 2016 as part of the sanctions introduced by then-President Barack Obama's administration over Russia's alleged interference in the US presidential election, which Moscow has repeatedly denied. At the same time, 35 Russian diplomats were expelled from the United States.


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