Too many' spies operating at USA embassy in Moscow : Russia

Kristopher Drake
July 16, 2017

The warning to not only expel USA diplomats and arrest U.S. diplomatic property, but to considerably cut the personnel of the USA embassy in Russian Federation looks like a measure which will backfire not on President Trump but on the State Department and its everyday work.

Moscow has repeatedly demanded the return of the properties, and the issue became hot again after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his USA counterpart Donald Trump held their first meeting last week in Germany.

In response to reports of Russian meddling in the presidential election, the outgoing Obama administration a year ago expelled 35 Russian officials from the USA and shut down two Russian estates that President Barack Obama said were being used for spy operations.

Flynn was forced to resign as National Security Advisor after just 24 days in the job, when it was revealed that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversation and American Intelligence intercepted a phone call by Russian officials who claimed they could use Flynn to influence Trump.

What is also of a particular interest, the newspaper says, is that Moscow still does not blame President Trump for the issue, while openly putting the blame on the US Department of State. "(But) if it's the only way to make our American partners understand we will have to act".

By withdrawing from a climate change agreement and impulsive comments putting the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance in question, Trump has abdicated America's world leadership, strengthening Russia's position.

She said Russia was planning possible retaliation for the December expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

The FBI, as well as the intelligence committees of both houses of the US Congress, are presently investigating whether Trump's associates were in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 US presidential elections.

Zakharova described Obama's moves as a "provocation" intended at derailing Trump's attempts to improve bilateral relations.

"The seized compounds have not been returned yet. It particularly concerns the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats the unlawful seizure of Russia's property despite its diplomatic immunity", the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman noted. She also criticized the United States for not issuing visas to diplomats who are supposed to replaced the expelled staff. "The number of staff at the USA embassy in Moscow exceeds the number of our embassy employees in Washington by a big margin. So, one of the options is that, apart from expelling the corresponding number of USA diplomats, we will just have to even the number of personnel".

Sebastian Gorka, a senior White House adviser to President Donald Trump, told CNN on Friday that it was time for the U.S. -Russia relationship to "move on".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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