World Bulletin / News Desk
The Kremlin on Monday said Washington must unconditionally restore its access to diplomatic compounds in the United States ahead of high-level talks on the issue.
"We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property, we consider that it must be returned without any conditions and talking," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
He spoke as Thomas Shannon, the US State Department's third-in-command, was set to host Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov in Washington later Monday.
Diplomats quoted by Russian news agencies said the issue of the residential complexes would be on their agenda.
The talks between Shannon and Ryabkov were earlier scheduled for June but Russia cancelled them, citing new US sanctions linked to the conflict in Ukraine.
When President Vladimir Putin and US counterpart Donald Trump met for the first time at the G20 summit in Hamburg this month, the Kremlin strongman raised the question "quite unambiguously," Peskov said.
He added that "we still hope our American colleagues will show political wisdom and political will."
Obama announced the US was shutting down residential complexes in December at the same time as he expelled 35 Russian diplomats for spying.
He said the measures were in response to US intelligence reports of Russian hacking and an alleged influence campaign to sway the US presidential election in Trump's favour, describing the compounds as used by Moscow for "intelligence-related purposes."
At the time Putin held off from retaliating, saying he would wait to see how Trump reacted after he came into the White House.
But hope that Trump will soon follow up on campaign pledges to boost relations have fizzled as any ties to Moscow have become toxic for the White House amid a maelstrom of US investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Now Russia has decided to ratchet up threats that it could belatedly take revenge by blocking a country house and a storage facility used by the US Embassy in Moscow.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week: "If Washington decides not to solve this issue, we will have to take counter actions."
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained last week that the US was also refusing to issue visas for Russian diplomats to replace those expelled.
Canadian foreign minister says targeting civilians is violation of international humanitarian law
Heather Nauert reiterates Turkish military operation in Afrin would cause a "distraction"
International law continues to view West Bank and East Jerusalem as 'occupied territories'
Hamas blasts Palestinian president's calls to resume talks with Israeli occupiers
Some say transport union leader Hugo Moyano is promoting the strike in a bid to avoid probe
Video stating Florida school shooting survivor is an actor becomes top trending video on site before it is removed
Coalition of opposition parties say elections called by government do not offer them any guarantees
Twelve Palestinian lawmakers remain in Israeli custody
Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging arrest campaigns in the West Bank
Controversial gun accessories turn semi-automatic rifles into rapid-fire weapons
Enrique Pena Nieto offers solidarity with U.S. after devastating school shooting
We did not work well enough over the past few years, says State Department spokesperson
Antonio Ledezma, a fierce critic of President Nicolas Maduro who fled Venezuela in 2015, said that "a humanitarian intervention is justified" in the country, given the brutality of the Caracas government.
Trudeau addressed a business conference in Mumbai on Tuesday morning, attended by leaders from the Tata conglomerate, IT giants Infosys and pharmaceutical major Jubilant Life Sciences.
The incident, which caused no injuries, is the latest in a string of accidents involving the US military that have prompted concern from Japanese officials and renewed criticism of the US military presence in the country.
Rest of the tanks will be delivered in April, forming a fully armored unit, says Iraqi Army Chief of Staff