Moscow's patience 'has its limits': Russia pushes the Trump administration to return seized diplomatic compounds

The Kremlin says its patience with the US’ plan to return the Russian Embassy’s compounds is running out.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Monday that Russia has demonstrated a remarkable restraint by refraining from a tit-for-tat response to President Barack Obama’s decision in December to expel 35 Russian diplomats and shutter Russian compounds in Maryland and New York. The facilities are believed to have been used for intelligence-gathering by the Russians.

Obama took those steps to retaliate against Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election, though Russia has repeatedly denied the charge.

However, The Washington Post reported in May that the White House told the Kremlin that it would consider returning the seized compounds if Russia lifted its ban on the construction of a US consulate in St. Petersburg. However, The Post reported that the US reversed its position two days later.

Ushakov said while Russia has shown “unusual flexibility,” Moscow’s patience “has its limits.” He urged Washington to take action to “free Russia from the need to take retaliatory moves,” emphasising that Moscow will feel obliged to respond if the matter isn’t settled.

Putin and Trump are to have their first meeting at the sidelines of the G-20 summit, being held in Germany on Friday and Saturday.

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